Johnstone grabs hat-trick as England ease past France
Tom Johnstone marked his international debut in style, scoring a hat-trick of tries as England eased to a 44-6 win over France on Wednesday.
Wakefield winger Johnstone completed his treble inside 25 minutes to help England - without the services of those Wigan and Warrington players who were involved in Saturday's Grand Final at Old Trafford - ease into a 38-0 half-time lead in Leigh.
Luke Thompson, another new face in a side including eight debutants, also touched down before the break, along with Tom Burgess, Elliott Whitehead and the recalled Richie Myler.
Jake Connor was the only scorer after the break for the hosts, who used the Test as preparation for their upcoming three-match series against New Zealand.
France put up a stronger fight in the second period and were rewarded for their improved efforts with a try from Theo Fages that was converted by Williiam Barthau.
Tony Gigot also twice went close to adding further points for the visitors in front of a crowd of 5,144.
Wayne Bennett's England are next in action on October 27 in Hull, when they take on the Kiwis. The two teams will also do battle in Test matches at Anfield and Elland Road on November 4 and 11 respectively.
Great run-out ahead of our first match against the Kiwis next Saturday!— England Rugby League (@England_RL) October 17, 2018
Brilliant hat-trick on debut from Tom Johnstone pic.twitter.com/qQGBCMkQQI