- England Counties beat Euskarians 61-19
- England score 9 tries in dominant performance
England Counties began their tour of Spain with a convicincing 61-19 victory over the Basque side Euskarians in San Sebastian.
The Counties squad, who arrived in the country at the beginning of the week following the culmination of the Bill Beaumont County Championship, gelled quickly and showed their physical superiority to ease away.
Rhys Hayes' try in the opening minutes set the tone for a one-sided affair with Max Trimble scoring their second after a chip through from Jack Lavin.
Yorkshire full-back Peter Swatkins then made it 19-0 with a try of his own before Euskarians responded through Beñat Goicoechea.
Robin Wedlake got on the scoresheet twice from the wing with Counties also scoring through centre Albert Portsmouth as well as Coventry duo Pete White and James Stokes who both came on as replacements.
Caldy's Lavin slotted six conversions, including one from a penaltry try, with replacement Matt Shepherd kicking two of his own.
Euskarians struggled to cope with England's physicality, particularly in the second half when the away side ran away with it. England Counties will expect a sterner test when they face a Spain XV this Saturday, 3 June.
"We're really happy with the start to the campaign considering we have had limited time together," said Head Coach James Shanahan.
"I'm particularly pleased with the boys who made their debuts, I thought they put in some fantastic performances and we had a really strong bench.
"We're now looking ahead to a really tough test in Madrid against what we will be a quality opposition."
England Counties is the flagship team of the community game in England and offers players from National League One and below the opportunity to represent their country.
England Counties team:
1. Hayden King (Old Albanians and Hertfordshire)
2. Fran Entressengle (Huddersfield and Yorkshire)
3. Alex Gilthrow (Clifton and Somerset)
4. Joe Makin (Hull Ionians and Yorkshire)
5. Rob Birtwelln (Sedgley Park and Lancashire)
6. Keith Laughlin (Blaydon and Northumberland) - CAPTAIN
7. Harry Bate (Old Albanians and Hertfordshire)
8. Ed Milne (Rosslyn Park and Surrey)
9. Dave Brazier (Coventry and North Midlands)
10. Rhys Hayes (Caldy and Cheshire)
11. Robin Wedlake (Plymouth and Cornwall)
12. Jack Lavin (Caldy and Cheshire)
13. Albert Portsmouth (Cambridge and Eastern Counties)
14. Max Trimble (Coventry and Warwickshire)
15. Pete Swatkins (Sheffield Tigers and Yorkshire)
16. Dan Seal (Cambridge and East Midlands)
17. Neil Sweeney (Esher and Surrey)
18. Matt Collins (Ampthill and East Midlands)
19. Nile Dacres (Coventry and North Midlands)
20. Jack Preece (Coventry and Gloucestershire)
21. Pete White (Coventry and East Midlands)
22. Sam Baker (Ampthill and East Midlands)
23. Tom Wheatcroft (Coventry and Leicestershire)
24. Tom Baldwin (Blackheath and Kent)
25. James Stokes (Coventry and Warwickshire)
26. Matt Shepherd (Plymouth and Cornwall)