The big victor at close quarters from the England perspective was Alex Corbisiero, who provided some much needed solidity just when things were turning to liquid.
He showed flashes of quality and physicality that made him a star in rugby league, driving France hooker Dimitri Szarzewski back in his first tackle of the match and then smashing into Alexandre Dumoulin in the 24th to force the centre to drop the ball.
A more contrasting pair you could not wish to find but the atomiser and the touch player came out of their first starts with reputations enhanced at Twickenham, leaving Stuart Lancaster to park any thoughts of cutting one of them this week.
“What makes me believe Sam is ready is that I have seen the fact he has got himself to the situation he is at now”, Farrell said.
France have two remaining internationals before the World Cup begins next month – England at the Stade de France next Saturday followed by Scotland at home a fortnight later.
Ex-England players fear it could be the wrong decision. He is only being considered as a center by Lancaster, despite failing to impress in that position in his first season with Bath in the English league because of his positioning and reading of the game.
Neither of them have played for England so that decision can not be made until we have seen them against France.
The 21-year-old repeated the trick mid-way through the half, at the end of a attractive, flowing England move. Their squad has also absorbed the message – they want to play a direct, physically attritional game that overwhelms opponents, similar to that played in their Top 14. It was outstanding in both England and Australia.
Slade may have been wearing the No 13 shirt, but he performed the No 12 role whenever England had an attacking platform: a clever means of disguising Burgess’s obvious deficiencies as a union playmaker while retaining the cross-coder’s attributes in the wrecking ball department. Though the 26-year-old was fuming with the decision, it was a moment of indiscipline he could ill-afford in his attempts to win a World Cup place.
Number eight Ben Morgan was replaced at half time of his first appearance since breaking his leg in January but Lancaster revealed it was a pre-planned substitution.
“There are not many people who’ll ever get this opportunity, so for the lads who get picked it’s going to be a huge honour”.
The visitors continued to prove resilient, particularly at the breakdown against a lacklustre England pack and it produced a second yellow card to another debutant in Clark.
Lancaster names his side for next weekend’s trip to Paris on Tuesday evening and is set to field a strong XV.
A superb Jonny May try saw England pull clear again and although the power of the French saw them cut the margin to five points as Fulgence Ouedraogo drove over from a maul, the hosts held on.
He sidestepped Brice Dulin from a standing start, handed off his opposite wing and burst over for a first try in the right corner.