Owen Farrell bagged 17 points as England secured a bonus-point win over France in the Guinness Six Nations.
Leading from the front, The British & Irish Lions star scored a second-half try and added a further 12 points from the tee as Eddie Jones’ side continued their impressive start to this year’s competition.
Henry Slade also got his name on the scoresheet, with electric winger Jonny May dotting down for a hat-trick of tries before the break at Twickenham.
Buoyed by their victory over holders Ireland in Dublin last time out, England raced out of the traps to score their first try of the afternoon with just two minutes on the clock.
Elliot Daly, a prominent part of the Lions’ 2017 tour of New Zealand, scythed through the French midfield before playing a perfectly weighted kick for May to finish.
May doubled his tally from captain Farrell’s raking pass, before completing his hat-trick from another kick through – this time from Chris Ashton.
Damian Penaud pulled one back for the visitors following a break from Yoann Huget, but the in-form Slade finished in the corner shortly after to seal the bonus-point for England.
The second-half followed a similar pattern, with the hosts increasing their lead through a penalty try and an opportunistic score from Farrell, who seized on a loose ball to finish his own kick forward.
And with Farrell’s dominant performance backed up by strong showings from a number of other Lions stars, England comfortably saw out the game to win 44-8 and send out a message to their Six Nations rivals.
Chief among the key Lions performers was lock Courtney Lawes, who shone in the absence of Maro Itoje.
👀👀👀 @EnglandRugby fans #ENGvFRA #GuinnessSixNations pic.twitter.com/YRpyagvND8
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) February 10, 2019
Crunching into tackles and a key part of England’s carrying game, the Northampton forward’s display was hailed by head coach Jones after the game.
“I thought he played really well,” Jones said. Maro (Itoje) is an important player for us and Courtney stepped in and really put some good shots in.
“He showed good energy, he carried well and he’s just a class player.”
Next up, Jones and his resurgent team face a potential Championship decider when they travel to face fellow contenders Wales a week on Saturday.