England score eight tries in 42-0 win over France

Mid-season international

France (0) 0

England (20) 42

Tries: Davies 2, Hardcastle, Hetherington, Harris, Travis, Partington, Rudge; Goals: Rowe 5

England proved far too strong for France in Toulouse, scoring eight tries in a dominant 42-0 victory.

Wigan winger Anna Davies crossed either side of half-time, while fellow international debutant Georgie Hetherington touched down in the first half.

Amy Hardcastle, Zoe Harris, Paige Travis, Eboni Partington and Emily Rudge were England's other try-scorers as they continued their undefeated record against France in women's internationals.

Another of England's five debutants in the matchday squad, 17-year-old Isabel Rowe, converted five of England's eight scores.

This match was the first part of a Test double-header at Stade Ernest-Wallon, with England's men later beating their French counterparts 40-8.

Stuart Barrow's line-up mixed youth and experience, with Wigan's teenage half-back Rowe among those given a chance to impress alongside seasoned campaigners such as Hardcastle, Rudge and captain Jodie Cunningham.

Among those unavailable for selection were the previous two Woman of Steel winners, York Valkyrie pair Sinead Peach and Tara-Jane Stanley, as well as NRLW-based duo Hollie-Mae Dodd and Georgia Roche.

The previous meeting between these two nations in April 2023 had ended with a 64-0 victory in England's favour and another comfortable success seemed likely once the visitors had crossed twice through Davies and Hardcastle in the opening nine minutes.

The first four tries, which came during the opening 25 minutes, were all a result of England exploiting gaps on their right side.

France, who secured World Cup qualification for 2026 earlier this month, were able to stem the flow of tries for a spell either side of the interval but they rarely looked like breaching England's strong defensive line at the other end.

St Helens second row Travis fended off two French tacklers to add to England's tally early in the second half, and they made it past 40 points with three further tries in quick succession in the closing stages.

The last of them was created by Rowe, who passed short for Rudge to dart past the French defence and touch down easily under the posts.

England have a tour of Australia coming up in 2025, when they face the reigning world champions, with the World Cup following a year later.


France: Samarra; Himoudi, Song Puche, Vilanove, Ramazeilles; Roses, Diraison; Akpa, Pommier, Segala, Legout, Bessiere, Bessahli

Interchanges: Samuel, Monsarrat, Haoua, Kuresa

England: Hetherington; Partington, Beevers, Hardcastle, Davies; Harris, Rowe; Wood, Bennett, Hoyle, Travis, Rudge, Cunningham

Interchanges: Mottershead, Whitfield, Hornby, Sykes

Referee: Geoffrey Poumes