England player ratings: Ash Handley and George Williams stand out in rout of France

England made light work of France in a 64-0 demolition as they took their first steps on the road to the 2025 World Cup.

In England's first game since being dumped out of the last tournament by Samoa, Shaun Wane fielded as many as 13 Test debutants and his youthful side produced an energetic performance against a similarly understrength French outfit.

The 11-try rout gave England identical wins in the Warrington double-header on a chastening afternoon for France.

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Leeds Rhinos winger Ash Handley celebrated his first cap with a hat-trick from George Williams assists and returned the favour in remarkable fashion to give the half-back a treble.

Handley opened the scoring after three minutes from Williams' kick and Jake Wardle shrugged off a heavy collision with the advertising hoardings to send Harry Smith over.

Ethan Havard went in untouched from Morgan Smithies' pass before Wardle slid over in the corner to get his name on the scoresheet.

Handley sent Williams over following a break and took the half-back's cut-out pass to score his second.

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Williams backed up another break by Handley to make it a double as the pair continued to terrorise France.

George Williams showed his class against France. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)George Williams showed his class against France. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)
George Williams showed his class against France. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)

Handley showcased his athleticism for his hat-trick try from a kick by Williams, who split the France defence open to put Kai Pearce-Paul over moments later.

Williams completed his treble after backing up another break by Handley and Danny Walker rounded off the scoring in the final minute.

Here, The Yorkshire Post rates the England players.

Jack Welsby: Couple of shaky moments in the first half and was guilty of two poor passes late on before eventually getting in on the act with an assist for Walker. 6

Jake Wardle slides over to score. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)Jake Wardle slides over to score. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)
Jake Wardle slides over to score. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)
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Ash Handley: Went over early to settle any nerves and finished with a hat-trick of tries and assists after teaming up with Williams to rip France's left edge to shreds. 9

Toby King: A relatively quiet outing on an afternoon when others shone. 6

Jake Wardle: Showed bravery after being left nursing an arm issue to lay on a try for Smith and score one himself. 7

Matty Ashton: Came infield looking for work early on and didn't see much ball as the game went on with all the action on the opposite flank. 6

Ethan Havard celebrates his try with team-mates. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)Ethan Havard celebrates his try with team-mates. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)
Ethan Havard celebrates his try with team-mates. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)
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George Williams: Laid on four tries and scored a hat-trick to underline his class. 9

Harry Smith: Grabbed himself a try and was impressive throughout a composed debut, while he also kicked nine out of 10 from the tee. 8

Ethan Havard: Strong running and was rewarded for his industry with a debut try. 7

Danny Walker: Lively first England outing for the hooker, the highlights a nice 40/20 and his last-gasp try. 7

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Tom Holroyd: Helped the home side get on top early and was strong across two stints. 7

Kai Pearce-Paul: Helped himself to a try as England ran riot. 6

Matty Nicholson: A solid hit-out for the young back-rower. 6

Morgan Smithies: Arguably England's best forward on a day when he showcased his all-round ability. 7.5

Substitutes

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Jez Litten: Put himself about and gave glimpses of his running threat. 7

James Harrison: Solid showing off the bench. 6

Ben Currie: Got an early chance as a replacement for Pearce-Paul and played his part. 6

Tyler Dupree: Did not look out of place after completing a remarkable turnaround following his release by Leeds in 2020. 7

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