England records winning start

Wayne Bennett expressed his satisfaction after making a winning start as England coach.

The veteran Australian handed out five new caps in the absence of his skipper Sam Burgess and five players from the Super League grand final and watched his new-look, somewhat experimental side gain a 40-6 victory over a spirited France in Avignon.

It was just the workout England needed ahead of the Four Nations, although Bennett already had an idea of his team to play New Zealand at Huddersfield next Saturday.

“I thought we handled it pretty well without blowing them away,” Bennett said.

“I thought France tried really hard, they were really competitive and had good ball control.

“I was pretty pleased with all the new caps, I wasn’t disappointed with anybody tonight.

“But it hasn’t made my job of picking a side for next week tougher — I already had an idea of my team to face New Zealand anyway.”

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