Long wait for debut cap but Jack Singleton makes bow in comfortable England win over Wales
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Harpenden’s Jack Singleton won his first senior cap for England in a fine 33-19 win against Wales at Twickenham.
His arrival was a long time in coming, not taking the pitch until there was just 90 seconds remaining as a replacement for Joe Launchbury but it is still a momentous moment in the career of the Harpenden St George's pupil;
He will find out tomorrow whether he will on board the plane to Japan when Eddie Jones names his final 31-man squad.
That may depend on whether the head coach decides on three hookers but even if he doesn't make the final cut, he will no doubt be a definite for four years time.
And he will certainly be a huge figure at the start of Saracens' defence of their Premiership title.
You may also want to watch:
The game was classed as a test match but in essence it was a pre-season, World Cup warm-up.
And as such there were times it felt like both sides were playing within themselves.
- 1 St Albans nursery given six weeks' notice warning of potential closure
- 2 Do you remember when The Inbetweeners came to St Albans?
- 3 Urgent care services at St Albans hospital could become appointment only
- 4 In Pictures: Harpenden Farmers' Market back on the Common
- 5 St Albans violent crime: Teen drugs gang behind spate of attacks on rivals found guilty
- 6 Standon Calling called off after heavy rain and lightning risk
- 7 St Albans violent crime: 'Intervention needed to break the cycle of grooming'
- 8 Property Spotlight: A spacious family home in Harpenden's prestigious West Common
- 9 Man given Criminal Behaviour Order for being drunk in St Albans
- 10 Harpenden arrest in connection with St Albans council fraud probe
That said England flew out of the blocks in exactly the same way Wales didn't.
Billy Vunipola crashed over on four minutes and as wave and wave of white shirts piled forward round the sides of rucks, there was a second try, this one for Joe Cockanasiga.
England were impressive in that regard with back-rows Tom Curry and Lewis Ludlam both impressing, as did Willi Heinz who looked assured behind his pack.
Gareth Davies' solo try was superb, even if there were question-marks over the England tackling, but it was a foray into the England half that was few and far between in the first period.
Wales' misery was compounded by an awful line-out from Ken Owens that flew over all red shirts into the grateful arms of Cowan-Dickie.
Another former scholar from the Sun Lane school in Harpenden, George Ford, had kicked all three conversions in the first 40 minutes and he added two penalties after the break.
They were needed too as Wales threatened a comeback, first through George North and then Wyn Jones.
But a third penalty from Ford, skipper for the day, late on and an outrageous drop-goal by Saracens new boy Elliot Daly ensured a happy day for England.
It doesn't count for a jot ultimately when it comes to what happens in the Far East over September and October.
But it is a great place to start and will give England a huge boost in confidence.
England: Genge, Cowan-Dickie, Cole, Launchbury, Ewels, Ludlam, Curry, B.Vunipola, Heinz, Ford, Watson, P.Francis, Joseph, Cockanasiga, Daly.
Replacements: Singleton, Marler, H.Williams, Kruis, Lawes, Youngs, Marchant, Tuilagi.
Tries: B.Vunipola 4, Cockanasiga 14, Cowan-Dickie 39
Conversions: Ford 4,14, 39
Penalties: Ford 44, 61, 73
Drop goal: Daly 77
Wales: Smith, Owen, Francis, Beard, Wyn-Jones, Wainwright, Tipuric, Moriarty, G.Davies, Anscombe, Adams, Parkes, J. Davies, North, L.Williams.
Replacements: Dee, Jones, Lewis, Ball, Shingler, A.Davies, Biggar, Watkin.
Tries: G.Davies 23, North 50, Jones 56
Conversions: Anscombe 23, Biggar 56
HT: England 21 Wales 7
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)