After a tight start, the home side took a England vs France Live surprise lead as Eloi Pellisier went over, but Ryan Hall, twice, Daryl Clark and George Burgess hit back.Kevin Brown and Jermaine McGillvary touched down in the corner and Gareth Widdop also scored in the second half.
Event: England vs France Rugby
Date: Saturday, 04 February 2017
Location: Twickenham Stadium, London
Official Live/BroadCasting : sixnationsrugby-live.com
England face New Zealand in their first Four Nations match next Saturday in Huddersfield (kick-off 14:30 BST).The tournament gets under way on Friday in Hull, where Australia take on debutants Scotland (kick-off 20:00 BST).
This proved to be a strong test in Avignon for England, against a France side much improved from the one hammered 84-4 the last time the countries met in October 2015.
England vs France Live Bennett replaced Steve McNamara, who had been in the role for five and a half years, in February and saw his side in action for the first time without the likes of captain Sam Burgess and full-back Sam Tomkins.
He gave five players their debuts – Jonny Lomax, Mark Percival, Luke Gale and Stefan Ratchford all getting their first caps – as did the impressive Hull prop Scott Taylor, who showed some powerful running.
England were scoreless for the first 27 minutes, before taking control with a flurry of four tries in 13 minutes.
Having gone behind to a Pellisier try from dummy half, it was the dangerous Leeds Rhinos winger Hall who finished off two tries in the corner
It took his tally for the national side to 28 in as many games. In between, Warrington Wolves man Clark scooted in and George Burgess barged over.
Widnes skipper Brown finished off a smart move, Huddersfield winger McGillvary got his first England try and Widdop ran clear as Bennett’s side cruised to victory.
England head coach Wayne Bennett: “I wasn’t disappointed. I thought we handled it pretty well without blowing them away.
“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.”
France head coach Aurelien Cologni: “I’m very happy with our performance but I’m frustrated with some of the referee’s decisions.
“When we were six points ahead, we got two penalties and they take a lot out of you, as it makes it very difficult to build pressure.
“We can be proud as we pushed England into a bad situation. It was a good game for them and us as we showed a good mentality. It was a good test and will give us confidence to prepare for the World Cup.”
Wales coach John Kear on BBC TV:“I think this Six Nations Rugby 2017 Live side will really challenge in the Four Nations tournament.”A job very well done. Coach Wayne Bennett will be very happy. The conditions weren’t the best against a committed French side, who were very spirited and gutsy. The England players looked comfortable though and believe in the coach. An 8/10 performance.
“Bennett will have a very good idea of who he is going with against New Zealand next week. He will have 14 or 15 in mind but this game will solidify the remaining positions.”
England have a fresh injury concern to deal with just four days before their Six Nations opener against France after George Kruis suffered a knee injury in training on Tuesday, putting his participation in the Twickenham encounter.
Eddie Jones has retained 25 players for the opening game of their Six Nations championship defence, with the Australian head coach yet to taste defeat in the northern hemisphere tournament. However, he will not welcome the fresh injury concern over Kruis, with the Saracens lock missing the final training session on Tuesday having been dogged by fitness concerns this season.
26-year-old Kruis was only passed fit for Saturday’s match last week, having suffered a broken cheekbone while on Saracens duty, and he also missed the opening two autumn internationals after undergoing ankle surgery last October
Who were crowned England vs France Live champions in 2017?
The England coaching team will not make a decision on Kruis until Wednesday once he has undergone further assessment, but regardless of his condition it looks certain that his Saracens teammate Maro Itoje will remain in the back-row.
Having made his England debut against Italy in last year’s Six Nations as a replacement at blindside flanker and also being deployed there in the final summer Test against Australia, Itoje will replace the injured Chris Robshaw – who will miss the entire campaign after undergoing a shoulder operation – and will form a backline that will see Tom Wood remain at openside flanker and Nathan Hughes filling in at for Billy Vunipola at No 8.
Should Kruis fail to recover in time for Le Crunch, then Courtney Lawes will join Joe Launchbury in the second-row.
There is good news for England though in that James Haskell, Jack Nowell and Itoje are all retained, having missed the entire autumn programme with foot, thigh and hand injuries respectively. Haskell looks set to be handed a place on the replacements’ bench as back-row cover, while Nowell and Itoje are in line to make their first starts for England Six Nations Rugby 2017 Live Stream since last year’s tour Down Under.
Nowell is likely to join Jonny May on the wing after Anthony Watson was ruled out of the opening two matches of the tournament, but England do have concerns over the Gloucester back after he suffered a gashed head during training.Courtney Lawes would be the likely replacement for Kruis if he fails to recover (Getty)
Joe Marler is winning the battle to be fit for this weekend’s clash, just 27 days after being left with a fractured leg during a Harlequins warm-up session, and he is likely to start alongside captain Dylan Hartley and prop Dan Cole in the front-row with one of Matt Mullan and Ellis Genge likely to miss out on the 23-man matchday squad, along with either Kruis or Teimana Harrison depending on how the former responds to treatment on Wednesday.
Jones announces his squad for Saturday’s match against France at 10am on Thursday.Forwards Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints).
BacksMike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers
The fixture will take place at 20:00 BST on Tuesday, 13 June, three days after England face Scotland in a World Cup 2018 qualifier at Hampden Park.
The last time the teams met, in November 2015, England beat France 2-0 at Wembley in an emotional friendly in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.
France won 1-0 in the last meeting at the Stade de France, in March 2008.Subscribe to the BBC Sport newsletter to get our pick of news, features and video sent to your inbox.