The Manchester United striker helped fire the Three Lions to a 6-1 victory over Norway in Colchester, leaving Gareth Southgate’s side top of their group with just two games to play next month.
Rashford’s treble was added to by a first U21s goal for Nathaniel Chalobah, as well as a strike from the equally impressive Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Lewis Baker.
England 6-1 Norway
UEFA European U21 Championship
Group 9 Qualifier
Tuesday 6 September 2016
Colchester Community Stadium
Live on BT Sport
Southgate had warned his squad ahead of the game about the threats possessed by Norway, and the signs were there as the Scandinavians were the brighter of the two teams in the opening stages.
And England had another debutant in Angus Gunn to thank on three occasions for keeping the scores level in the first 15 minutes.
The Manchester City keeper, 20, produced two fine stops in the 12th minute to deny dangerman Mohamed Elyounoussi, before a stunning close range save from Iver Fossum’s close range header.
So it was against the run of play when the Three Lions took the lead, as Chalobah intercepted a loose ball on halfway before playing first-time pass behind the defence. Rashford was onto it in a flash, before finishing crisply past Sondre Rossbach.
Less than ten minutes later, England doubled their lead when James Ward-Prowse’s free-kick from the right picked out Chalobah at the far post and he smashed the ball past Rossbach to register his first U21s goal on his 30th appearance.
The chances continued after the break, as Rashford shot straight at Rossbach inside the area after working the ball past Sander Berge to set himself up for a left-footer.
Loftus-Cheek then drilled a low shot narrowly wide of the post after a powerful run forward, as England looked to add to their tally.
And it was the Chelsea man who made it 3-0, when he placed a low shot in off the post after receiving a pass from Baker.
There was barely time to breathe before Rashford added his second, and the pick of the bunch, when he picked out the top corner with a sumptuous dipping shot, all whilst confronted by three red shirts in the box.
Norwegian substitute Ghayas Zahid headed home a close range header to give the visitors a consolation before Rashford wrapped up his hat-trick with 20 minutes to go from the penalty spot.
The final goal came with just four minutes to go, as Baker converted a low shot from Ward-Prowse’s centre to wrap up the result and England’s biggest win at this level since a 9-1 victory over San Marino back in November 2013.
England Under-21s: 1 Angus Gunn (Manchester City); 2 Dominic Iorfa (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 5 Calum Chambers (Middlesbrough, loan from Arsenal), 6 Kortney Hause (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 3 Matt Targett (Southampton); 8 James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), 4 Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea), 7 Lewis Baker (Vitesse Arnhem, loan from Chelsea); 10 Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), 11 Nathan Redmond (Southampton); 9 Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Substitutes: 17 Duncan Watmore (Sunderland) for Loftus-Cheek 80, 16 Demarai Gray (Leicester City) for Redmond 81, 18 Chuba Akpom (Arsenal) for Rashford 84
Substitutes not used: 12 Rob Holding (Arsenal), 13 Joe Wildsmith (Sheffield Wednesday), 14 Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United), 15 Brendan Galloway (West Bromwich Albion, loan from Everton),
Head coach: Gareth Southgate
Goals: Marcus Rashford 29, 65, 71, Nathaniel Chalobah 37, Ruben Loftus-Cheek 64, Lewis Baker 86
Norway: 1 Sondre Rossbach; 2 Kristoffer Haraldseid, 3 Ulrik Jenssen, 5 Thomas Grogaard, 8 Iver Fossum (c), 9 Alexander Sorloth, 11 Martin Odegaard, 18 Sander Berge, 20 Mats Moller Daehli, 21 Mohamed Elyounoussi, 22 Ole Selnaes.
Substitutes: 10 Ghayas Zahid for Daehli 57, 6 Anders Trondsen for Selnaes 68, 16 Morten Thorsby for Elyounoussi 77
Substitutes not used: 12 Mathias Dyngeland, 15 Sigurd Rosted, 17 Birger Meling, 19 Runar Espejord
Head coach: Leif Gunnar Smerud
Goals: Ghayas Zahid 66
Cautions: Selnaes 50, Trondsen 79
Referee: Ali Palabiyik (Turkey)