England scored three top quality tries as they beat France 19-14 in their Rugby World Cup warmup match at Twickenham on Saturday. Anthony Watson scored a brace, while Sam Burgess had an impressive debut, despite being yellow carded.
Henry Slade and former League star Burgess formed a midfield partnership, both making their debuts but contributing to some well worked tries, particularly the second for Watson.
The first was more of an individual effort, with the Bath flyer standing up his opposition number and rounding him for a brilliant wingers try.
By the time Jonny May scored in the second half, England had impressed in the warmup game that will give them some confidence going into their next meeting with France, who themselves will look to get combinations right and build on some of the positives from Twickenham.
England had two players sinbinned as first Burgess, then Calum Clark, were shown yellow.
Fulgence Ouedraogo powered over for a try for France, but it wasn’t enough to take the win.
“We are disappointed because we came here to win. We had our chances and we had a lot of pressure on their line. But we did not finish them off as well as we should have,” said Ouedraogo post match.
England Skipper Tom Wood said that the victory was satisfying while challenging.
“It’s good to start the three warm-up games with a win, especially at Twickenham. We knew France would come looking to give us plenty of problems and it was as tough as I thought it would be.”
The two sides meet again in Paris next weekend, where France will hope to build momentum going into a World Cup that sees them up against Ireland, Italy, Canada and Romania in Pool D.