Wigan winger Josh Charnley grabbed four tries on his international debut as England overcame Wales 80-12 in their opening autumn international in Wrexham.
Charnley, whose 31 tries enabled him to finish top of the Super League list in 2012, continued his prolific form as England outclassed a gallant but limited Welsh side in front of 4,014 fans at the Racecourse Ground.
Leeds stand-off Kevin Sinfield kicked 24 points on his first appearance as captain of the national side and took the man-of-the-match award for his playmaking skills as England secured their place in the November 11 final.
France will hope to provide more resistance to Steve McNamara's men in next week's game at Hull KR's Craven Park before the two meet again in the tournament decider at the City of Salford Stadium.
England, with seven players winning their first caps, ran in 14 tries but fell just short of their record 74-0 win over Wales in Bridgend in 2009.
Wales' sixth consecutive defeat leaves Iestyn Harris with still much to do if he is to realise his dream of achieving a place in the world's top three by 2016, while McNamara will be delighted with his side's first run-out of the autumn.