GEORGE Williams led from the front in his first game as permanent England captain on his club’s home ground.

The Warrington Wolves half-back was in dominant form, scoring a hat-trick of tries and recording four assists in a man-of-the-match display as Shaun Wane’s side swatted aside France.

He was joined in the side by five of his Wire teammates with four of them – Danny Walker, Matty Ashton, James Harrison and Matty Nicholson – making their senior international debuts in front of a crowd of 8,422 at The Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Walker was able to mark the occasion with a try in the game’s final play as England ran out comfortable and convincing winners.

> What Danny Walker has said about his dream England debut

Ash Handley also scored a hat-trick with Harry Smith, Ethan Havard, Jake Wardle and Kai Pearce-Paul also crossing the whitewash.

Warrington Guardian: George Williams is all smiles after one of his three triesGeorge Williams is all smiles after one of his three tries (Image:

Here’s how all of the Warrington players fared in England’s 64-0 win…

Williams shines again

We have come to expect it now but whether he’s in the primrose and blue of Warrington Wolves or the white of England, brilliance usually follows from George Williams.

A hat-trick of tries and general mastery of the wet and slippery conditions saw him mark his first game since taking over from Sam Tomkins as the new national team captain in fine style.

Playing on the right edge as opposed to the left-side berth he occupies for his club, he formed a promising partnership with Wigan’s Harry Smith in the halves.

His trifecta of touchdowns were all carbon-copies of each other – on each occasion, he was on the shoulder of Leeds winger Ash Handley to finish off breaks down the right wing.

Warrington Guardian: George Williams touches down in the first halfGeorge Williams touches down in the first half (Image: PA Wire)

Theirs was not a one-sided relationship either with Williams providing the assists for all three of Handley’s tries – two from inch-perfect kicks to the corner and one from a delicious looping pass.

Having also set up Kai Pearce-Paul for a walk-in after scything through an increasingly dispirited French defence, Williams well and truly led from the front.

What of the other Wire players?

Danny Walker enjoyed a memorable moment in the game’s final play as he made his senior England debut in his hometown, finishing off Jack Welsby’s break to round off the scoring.

Warrington Guardian: Danny Walker after scoring his last-minute tryDanny Walker after scoring his last-minute try (Image: PA Wire)

Before then, he was his usual busy self having started at hooker, with a perfectly-measured 40-20 to give England the field position that led to Jake Wardle’s try among his highlights.

James Harrison also put in a lengthy and effective stint off the bench, finding his front on pretty much every occasion and earning a couple of six-agains for his efforts.

The contributions of Harrison and Salford’s Tyler Dupree off the bench meant England lost none of their punch when starting front-rowers Ethan Havard and Tom Holroyd were spelled.

Matty Nicholson shrugged off a couple of early defensive misses to enjoy a solid international debut, while the success of the right edge meant Matty Ashton and Ben Currie didn’t have many opportunities to show what they could do with the ball in attack.

A sigh of relief for Powell?

Like every coach with players involved in this fixture, Wire boss Daryl Powell will have been watching this one praying his charges came through unscathed.

Thankfully from a Warrington perspective, that appeared to be the case six days removed from their return to Super League action against Wakefield Trinity.

There was a first half scare when Ashton, Jake Wardle and France’s Paul Marcon exploded through an advertising hoarding and into the East Stand after chasing a kick.

It looked a nasty collision but all three emerged unscathed.

Powell will also be heartened by the big minutes Harrison played, providing further evidence that he is no longer being troubled by the knee injury that saw him miss six games of Wolves’ season.