England laid out a big statement of intent with a 10-try, 56-5 demolition of Spain to launch their Women’s Rugby World Cup title defence.
Wing Kay Wilson ran in four tries as the reigning world champions opened their bid to retain the crown in ominous fashion in Dublin.
England got the ball rolling in the first minute, with Megan Jones crossing – and Wilson had completed her hat-trick in 31 minutes.
Emily Scarratt, Harriet Millar-Mills, Alex Matthews, Amy Cockayne and Lydia Thompson all dotted down to complete a comprehensive victory over the world’s eighth-ranked Test side.
Diana Gasso claimed Spain’s sole score as England flexed their muscles in style.
England captain Sarah Hunter admitted the 2014 tournament winners were delighted to kick-start their campaign.
“We’re happy to get a win under our belts,” Hunter told ITV. “It’s job one done. There’s plenty for us to improve for our next game.
“Spain came at us and gave us some problems at times. It’s pleasing to get that run out and get that training on the pitch.”
England’s potent win hands boss Simon Middleton’s side the immediate edge in Pool B, with clashes against Italy and the USA still to come.
Hunter insisted England will not get carried away with their fast start however, with the Italians up next on Sunday in Dublin.
England were able to mix up their play between a tight forward-based game, and a more fluid, width-centric approach.
That flexibility will doubtless leave future opponents guessing on quite how England will focus their tactics.
“Since we’ve arrived here, our focus has been on us and we’ve not taken on the external pressure. It’s one job at a time,” said Hunter.
“At times we did OK but we have to go away and work on some aspects. In tournament rugby you have to win every game in front of you.”