Henry Arundell scored five tries as England overcame Chile’s determined opening to their Pool D match in Lille to register a third win at Rugby World Cup 2023, the  71-0 score a further boost to their sense of well-being marked by the return of their captain Owen Farrell from suspension.

For 20 minutes Los Condores held out against the wave of white shirts but from a scrum in front of the posts Farrell’s pass picked out Arundell for the wing to break the deadlock.

England front-rowers Theo Dan and Bevan Rodd touched down from close range either side of Arundell’s second score when he again had time to cruise across the line, but full-back Marcus Smith’s sublime kick-and-collect was the pick of England’s first-half tries.

The set-piece was the basis for England’s first try after the interval, when they worked the ball to Dan from a lineout and he barrelled over for his second score.  Arundell, 20, added three more, his fourth of the match a delightful chip and chase, and the impressive Smith and Jack Willis crossed as England turned on the style.

Chile complete the pool games of their first Rugby World Cup against Argentina in Nantes on 30 September.

Arundell, unsurprisingly named Mastercard Player of the Match, credited his team-mates for his remarkable try haul.

“Without sounding too clichéd, all the lads,” he said of how he had managed the feat. “A lot of those were tap-ins, so it’s the work done up front then the smarts from the inside lads to get the ball wide. I really appreciate all they’ve done for me.”

Martin Sigren, Chile’s captain, accepted the heavy defeat was “a tough lesson”.

“Four years ago we were getting the same result against Canada and the USA. We were losing games against Brazil. Four years later, look at us, we’re here, so I have to hold on to that. We will keep on working, maybe four years later the results will be different.”

Farrell, making his debut at this Rugby World Cup, said: “I enjoyed it. It’s always brilliant to pull this shirt on, but to do it in the fashion we did today and play some good rugby at times was enjoyable.

“The energy from the boys who’ve come in, the energy to play as a team – when it can be individual when there’s that many changes to a team – that’s a step forward for us.

“We showed some good variety and hopefully can kick on from here.”

Sigren’s head coach, Pablo Lemoine, remarked that he was “not really disappointed” at the result, pointing to the gap between the rugby nations.

“That’s reality,” he said. “That’s what actually happens with rugby at the moment. We have never played before at a World Cup. We are coming here and we are part of the show but we can’t play the game.

“We haven’t played that kind of game in the cycle between the World Cups. I hope that changes because it’s not good for the game or the supporters.” – WORLD RUGBY

- Advertisement -