Hodgson and Whitehead in action as England down France

Raiders duo Josh Hodgson and Elliott Whitehead were in action overnight as England triumphed over France at Leigh Sports Village.

Wakefield winger Tom Johnstone scored a 25-minute hat-trick on his debut as England took a 38-0 first-half lead.

Tom Burgess set the tone when he scored after one minute, with Richie Myler, Luke Thompson and Elliott Whitehead also crossing before the break.

Hull FC's Jake Connor scored the hosts' only try of the second half.

That try was converted by Mark Percival, after Connor had kicked five previous goals - while Theo Fages added a late consolation for France, converted by Willie Barthau.

With the Grand Final contingent from Wigan and Warrington not considered for selection, England coach Wayne Bennett named eight debutants in his squad.

Bennett was impressed by Johnstone, but suggested St Helens' Tom Makinson would start the first Test after being rested against France.

"We're pretty well covered in those positions, but he's someone I've noticed in the last 12 or 18 months and I've been waiting to give him an opportunity," he said.

"He's played well tonight but Tommy Makinson is a pretty fair player. He's certainly got a future on the wing for England if it's not this year.

"There were a couple of players I hadn't seen play before, so I learned a bit about them."

England's next outing will be the first Test against New Zealand at Hull FC's KCOM Stadium on 27 October.

They then face the Kiwis at Anfield in Liverpool on 4 November and at Leeds' Elland Road on 11 November, all of which will be live on BBC TV and radio.

England (38) 44

Tries: T Burgess, Johnstone 3, Myler, Thompson, Whitehead, Connor Goals: Connor 5, Percival

France (0) 6

Tries: Fages Goals: Barthau