Leah Burke crossed four times and Tara-Jane Stanley touched the ball and also scored 16 points as Barrow’s team ran in 12 attempts to start his reign in style.
England beat France 36-10 at the same venue in their World Cup warm-up last June and Barrow believes the clinical style of their performance offers plenty of encouragement for the future.
“I don’t think we came here today expecting such an outcome,” Barrow said. “We’ve got a process and the players have done it very well, but as always, there are things we can still improve on.”
England currently have no other fixtures planned and sparking quality opposition in the Northern Hemisphere remains an issue, with Wales or France once again the extent of their realistic options for one. potential fall international tournament.
“I wouldn’t be sitting here if I didn’t think we could close the gap (with Australia and New Zealand) and obviously having more competitive matches helps with that,” added Barrow.
“We have a really good group of players and more and more young players are knocking on the door.”
St Helens star Burke said she was delighted at the opportunity to wear the England shirt again for the first time since a disappointing World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand in November.
And with teammates Georgia Roche and Hollie-Mae Dodd recently becoming the first English players to land professional contracts at Australia’s NRLW, Burke believes the domestic game is on the verge of a bright new era.
“It was tough to lose to New Zealand because in our hearts we knew we could beat them, but it took us a while and I think the way we played today showed we worked hard. like,” Burke added.
“The women’s game is always evolving massively and there is no setback. It just keeps moving forward and the size of the crowd today reflects where we are.”