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

Sport360 staff 15:16 16/08/2015
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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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