By Mitch Phillips
LONDON (Reuters) -Debutant winger Adam Radwan and hooker Jamie Blamire, on his first start, both scored hat-tricks and it was a special day for flyhalf Marcus Smith as a shadow England team racked up 10 tries in a 70-14 demolition of Canada at Twickenham on Saturday.
Joe Cokanasiga, who scored two last week, added another two while one for the impressive Ellis Genge and a penalty try completed the thrashing of a hopelessly outgunned Canadian side who lost 68-12 to Wales last week in their first game since the 2019 World Cup.
Smith landed all nine of his conversion attempts and his day got even better when he discovered he has been summoned to join the British and Irish Lions in South Africa as cover for Finn Russell.
Smith was given a post-match pitchside ovation by his team mates, singing "Lions, Lions". It was an incredible moment for the 22-year-old, who made his England debut last week having helped Harlequins to the Premiership title the week before.
"I can’t believe it – I got told about 10 minutes ago. Eddie (Jones) told me it’s a special thing. I’m still shaking. It’s amazing," said Smith.
England, without around 20 players on Lions duty or rested, were on top throughout and gave first caps to four players, following the 12 debutants in last week's win over the United States.
"It was a good step up today," said Jones, whose side racked up their highest score since a 70-0 win, also against Canada, in 2004.
"The big thing for the whole group is desire, how much do they want to get better? The halfbacks have shown they can play Test rugby, they've got the talent and if they keep learning they are going to have good careers."
Last week Newcastle's Blamire came off the bench to score a try within a minute against the United States and was similarly quick out of the blocks on his first start, rolling off the back of a maul for England’s first try after 57 seconds.
Canada scrumhalf Ross Braude caught the home defence napping with a quick tap and go try but England quickly forged clear with a penalty try and a debut score for high-speed winger Radwan, another Newcastle player.
Cokanasiga, who scored two last week, added another two within five minutes, the second being a good impression of Jonah Lomu in the 1995 World Cup with Peter Nelson playing the part of Mike Catt as the big winger just ran through and over the unfortunate flyhalf.
It was not all good from England though as they conceded 10 penalties in the first 31 minutes, one of them leading to Kainoa Lloyd grabbing Canada’s second try.
Jones, however, would have been delighted with the power of his young forwards, who were totally on top in the scrum and finished the half in traditional style with a lineout maul allowing Blamire to bundle over, and with Smith successful with every conversion, it was 42-14 at halftime.
Man of the match prop Genge was a dominant ball carrier all day and blasted through for the first try of the second half and Radwan then flew in for his second.
Radwan then caught a high kick in his own half and turned on the afterburners to score his spectacular third.
There was a slight disappointment for the 10,000 crowd that England were unable to add to the tally in a disjointed last 10 minutes but they went away happy with what they had seen and knowing that some of the new faces on show will likely be back at Twickenham before too long even when the first-choice men return to the selection pool.
(Reporting by Mitch PhillipsEditing by Toby Davis)