After a bright start, Frederic Soyez, who netted a hat-trick in France's opening game against Ireland, took advantage of some poor defending to open the scoring in the 14th minute, and it might have been worsefor England a minute later but for a fine smothering save by David Luckes after Julian Halls had gifted the ball to Cedric Dagostino.
Two goals inside a minute lifted England a little in a below- par performance as they battled to break down a resolute French defence. A long ball from Tom Bertram set up the equaliser for the first of Hall's goals in the 16th minute, and a similar ball from Brett Garrard provided the opportunity for Mark Pearn to grab the second.
Hall's second goal came four minutes before the interval while the French were down to 10 men, the Guildford striker claiming it with a fierce reverse stick shot from the edge of the circle following a free hit by Garrard. Hall set up England's fourth with a through ball that Stuart Head converted with the faintest of touches.
Stourport's Jamie Westerman scored twice as Wales fought back from 2- 0 down to draw their opening match 2-2 with Switzerland, their second goal coming 14 seconds from time.
ENGLAND: D Luckes (East Grinstead); M Johnson (Cannock), T Bertram (Bournville), J Halls (Cannock), A Humphrey (Cannock); B Sharpe (Cannock), B Gerrard (Teddington), R Garcia (Harvestehuder, Ger); S Head (East Grinstead), D Hall (Guildford), M Pearn (Reading). Substitutes used: C Giles (Surbiton), G Fordham (Hounslow), B Waugh (Southgate, capt), J Wallis (Teddington).
FRANCE: M Vasse; C Dagostino; J Guyoux, N Jaquet, N JeanJean: G Tostain, F Delattre, F Durchon; F Soyez, T Raisin, A Moreau. Substitutes used: F Bailleul, N Gaillar, D Regniez.
Umpires: V Loos (Belgium) & J Wright (South Africa).