England got their World Cup preparations off to a strong start with a 18-4 win over the Combined Nations All Stars in Warrington.
Shaun Wane’s side have been drawn in a group alongside Samoa, Greece and France in this year’s World Cup.
The Lions are hoping to play Fiji in another warm-up match prior to the tournament getting underway.
England coach Wane handed out four debuts. Jake Wardle (Huddersfield), Jack Welsby (St Helens), Matty Lees (St Helens) and Joe Batchelor (St Helens) all made their first appearances in an England shirt.
Ellery Hanley’s Combined Nations All Stars team featured players from seven different Super League clubs. The All Stars were captained by Hull KR’s Shaun Kenny-Dowall.
Wardle couldn’t have asked for a better start to his England debut. He wrestled his way over the line from close range in the 13th minute, with Sam Tomkins converting.
England scored an excellent try on the half hour mark when a trademark John Bateman break through the middle saw him assist the supporting George Williams who raced over near the posts. Tomkins added his second conversion to give his side a 12-0 lead at half-time.
HT: England 12-0 Combined Nations All Stars
The hosts came out of the blocks firing at the start of the second half. Bateman barged his way over, managing to reach his arm away from a tackler to get the ball down. Tomkins converted to put Wane’s men 18-0 up and it was hard for the All Stars to find a way back.
Hanley’s men threw a bit at England in the second half. They got their rewards when Ken Sio produced an acrobatic finish in the corner.
The All Stars had another chance to score late on through Rhyse Martin but he was denied by a sublime try-saving tackle from Tommy Makinson. Wane’s men finished 18-4 winners in Warrington.
FT: England 18-4 Combined Nations All Stars
England: Tomkins; Makinson, Watkins, Wardle, Hall; Welsby, Williams; Walmsley, McIlorum, Cooper, Farrell, McMeeken, Bateman. Subs: McShane, Batchelor, Lees, Oledzki.
Tries: Wardle, Williams, Bateman Goals: Tomkins 3
Combined Nations All Stars: Mata’utia; Sio, Martin, Kenny-Dowall, Fonua; Miller, Croft; Sao, Clark, Tetevano, Edwards, Tanginoa, Prior. Subs: Leeming, Lovodua, Satae, Fifita.
Tries: Sio Goals: