Burgess to Farrell: Winners and losers from England's win over France

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Stuart Lancaster will be left with plenty to reflect on ahead of the world cup.

England began preparations for the Rugby World Cup with a 19-14 victory over France at Twickenham that will have given head coach Stuart Lancaster plenty to reflect upon as he considers the make-up of his squad for the global showpiece.

Here PA examine the winners and losers emerging from the first of two Tests against Les Bleus.

WINNERS

SAM BURGESS
Age:
26

Position: Centre

Two big hits shook Twickenham and apart from a yellow card that exposed his naivety in the code he has been playing for only 10 months, he acquitted himself well. Did enough to warrant a second outing in Paris on Saturday – probably as a replacement – but France's second-string backline were accommodating.

HENRY SLADE
Age:
22
Position: Fly-half

An exciting display of real promise as Slade transferred the passing and decision-making skills that have been his calling card at club level to the Test arena. Exquisite hands set up the first try for Anthony Watson and made Jonny May's score possible. On this evidence, the 22-year-old is worth a punt for the World Cup.

ALEX GOODE
Age:
27
Position: Fly-half, Full-back

Any doubt that England might spring a surprise by taking only one specialist full-back to the World Cup was ended by Goode's virtuoso performance, the pinnacle of which was spotting space on the left wing before angling a perfect kick to the touchline for May to score. Roamed intelligently behind the backline and will challenge Mike Brown if he continues like this.

LOSERS

OWEN FARRELL
Age:
23
Position: Fly-half 

An average performance that cements George Ford's position as England's first-choice fly-half. Lancaster has said it will take something special to displace Ford and Farrell fell short of that against France. England lost direction in the final quarter as they were outmuscled up front and Farrell must take his share of the blame.

ROB WEBBER
Age:
29
Position: Hooker

On a night when England needed one of their two senior hookers to stand up and be counted, they were instead given cause for concern over the position. Dylan Hartley's absence has left them without a reliable line-out thrower and Webber failed to step into the breach and apply pressure to first choice Tom Youngs.

TOM WOOD
Age:
28
Position: Flanker

A favourite of the Lancaster regime because of his leadership, work-rate and line-out ability, but is competing with James Haskell to be England's starting blindside flanker and it was the Wasps captain who produced the more eye-catching work against France, including the steal that ended France's injury-time drive for a match-winning try.

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GALLERY: All Blacks’ road to Bledisloe Cup glory

Scott 15/08/2015
New Zealand continued their fine record.

After All Blacks retained the Bledisloe Cup for the 13th time against Australia we look back at New Zealand's highlights in the cup.

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All Blacks bounce to retain Bledisloe Cup against Wallabies

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Bledisloe glory: All Blacks overcome Wallabies.

The All Blacks' frustration at last week's loss to the Wallabies in Sydney spilled over in the return match in Auckland where they thrashed the Australians 41-13.

The New Zealanders' pride was wounded when they lost the Rugby Championship decider 27-19 and they were determined to make amends and retain the Bledisloe Cup for the 13th consecutive year.

The world champions led 13-6 at half-time and then stunned the Wallabies with three tries in a seven minute burst at the start of the second spell which began with a penalty try following a head-high tackle by Quade Cooper.

The All Blacks scored five tries with Dane Coles, Ma'a Nonu (twice) and Conrad Smith crossing the line along with the penalty try while Dan Carter was on song with his boot landing all five conversions and two penalties.

The Wallabies, who have scored at least two tries in their past nine Tests, were limited to one late touchdown by Israel Folau and two Cooper penalties.

The sense of urgency in the All Blacks' play was fitting for the farewell appearance in New Zealand by six of their elder statesmen — Richie McCaw, in his record-setting 142nd Test, Dan Carter, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Keven Mealamu and Tony Woodcock.

The All Blacks were jittery at the start with hurried passes going to no one in particular and their desperation to get an early ascendancy resulted in three penalties in the opening 10 minutes. One within kicking range was easily turned into points by Cooper to get the Wallabies on the board first.

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But when the All Blacks settled they piled on 13 points through the middle stages of the first half.

Carter landed two penalties and played a central role in the All Blacks' first try, an end-to-end move that started with a turnover by Sam Whitelock.

The All Blacks elected to counter-attack from inside their 22 with Carter stepping through two defenders before sending hooker Dane Coles on a 40-metre run to the line.

Cooper came back with a second penalty for the Wallabies as they went into the break with the All Blacks ahead 13-6.

The deficit forced Wallabies coach Michael Cheika into action during the break.

Wycliff Palu and Will Skelton, who he started with to counter the All Blacks' onslaught, were replaced by the more mobile David Pocock and Dean Mumm. But it did little to stem the All Blacks' tide with Ben Smith and Nehe Milner-Skudder combining to put Aaron Smith on a run to the line where he was felled three metres short by Cooper.

Referee Nigel Owens had no hesitation in awarding the penalty try and sending Cooper to the sin-bin.

Milner-Skudder was again in the action to set up Ma'a Nonu's first try and a Nonu pass then put Conrad Smith over as the All Blacks scored three tries in quick succession before Nonu scored his second with 15 minutes to go.

Folau scored the Wallabies' sole try when he intercepted an All Blacks' crosskick inside his own half and raced 60 metres to the line.

Not only did the All Blacks retain the Bledisloe Cup, contested annually between the trans-Tasman rivals, but they also kept alive their formidable record at Eden Park where they have won 34 consecutive Tests since 1994.

Australia have not won there in their last 16 attempts since 1986.

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