JAMES Roby and James Graham enhanced their world-class reputations with fine displays in a Four-Nations warm-up.
England won 32-18 in encouraging fashion by overcoming a gutsy France in front of a bumper 16,866 crowd at Parc des Sports in Avignon.
The French, fielding close to the team that lost 38-18 to England Knights seven days earlier, came up with a vastly-improved display to give England a useful run-out ahead of their clash with Wales.
But Steve McNamara’s side had too much class for their hosts, and debutants Jack Reed, Rangi Chase and Chris Heighington all made valuable contributions.
Roby combined with NRL-bound Graham for the best try of the match.
Leeds’ Kevin Sinfield started the move, getting Graham charging into a hole in the French defence, and he produced a delightful pass for Roby to score.
England’s other try scorers were Ryan Hall, Kirk Yeaman, Tom Briscoe (2) and Jack Reed. Sinfield kicked five goals.
l FORMER Saint John Stankevitch’s hopes of taking Russia to the 2013 World Cup are over after his side were round beaten 32-0 by Lebanon.
The Cedars struggled to come to terms with the biting wind and small pitch but still posted six tries.
Stankevitch, appointed Russian RL coach earlier this year, said: “I was very pleased with our defensive effort.
“I was particularly happy with how we managed to tighten things up in the second half, and overall I was pleased with the enthusiasm of the players.”
l MAJOR winners in week No.51 of the Saints’ Lottery were: Mr Mills, of Rainford (£1,000), Mr P Kenny, of Newton-le-Willows (£200), Mrs Mercer, of Carr Mill, and B Picton, of Rainford (£100), G McCabe and Mrs Nicholls, both of Blackbrook (£50).