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England score six against France for sixth consecutive Six Nations title

BORDEAUX, FRANCE - APRIL 27: Marlie Packer and Zoe Aldcroft of England lift the Six Nations trophy after their team’s victory during the Guinness Women's Six Nations 2024 match between France and England at Stade Chaban-Delmas on April 27, 2024 in Bordeaux, France. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

England sealed their sixth consecutive Women’s Six Nations title, and their first with John Mitchell at the helm, with a 42-21 win over France.

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In front of a record French crowd of 28,023 supporters, England won their third consecutive Grand Slam with five tries from the forward pack in what was their 29th unbeaten match in the competition.

First-half tries from Maud Muir, Alex Matthews, Megan Jones, Amy Cokayne, and Marlie Packer gave England a 21-point lead at half-time with scores from Gabrielle Vernier and Marine Menager unable to close the gap.

Player of the match Matthews scored a second try after the break, as did Menager, but with France reduced to 14 players as a result of Assia Khalfaoui’s red card, the deficit was too much for the home side to reduce.

Fixture
Womens Six Nations
France Women's
21 - 42
Full-time
England Women's
All Stats and Data

England’s defence stood firm in the second half to deny France the opportunity to get back into the game, and the five tries in the first half set them up with the impressive foothold that delivered the final score.

England started with intent in Bordeaux as Muir crashed over the line next to the posts in the fourth minute, duly converted by Bristol Bears’ Holly Aitchison.

A second followed eight minutes later as England once again broke down the French defence, this time through Matthews who powered across the whitewash.

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France bit back through a try from Vernier who ran the perfect line to slice through a gap in the Red Roses line to score their first of the match, converted by Lina Queyroi.

Leicester Tigers centre Jones poached a pass from Emilie Boulard inside the France 22 to score England’s third, putting on the afterburners to do the damage uncontested after slipping through the smallest of gaps with a well-read pick, brilliantly converted again by Aitchison.

France managed to reduce the gap again within a matter of minutes, Menager the scorer this time as Pauline Bourdon Sansus provided a perfect pass for the winger who slipped through England’s grasp with pace to dot down near the posts.

Despite France’s best efforts, England went into the break with five tries to their name after two brawny mauls from the Red Roses saw Packer and Cokayne both add their names to the scoresheet before 40 minutes were up. Thanks to five pinpoint conversions from Aitchison, John Mitchell’s side led 35-14 at the break and were well on their way to a sixth consecutive Six Nations title.

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The second half started on a negative note for France as Khalfaoui was shown a yellow card, her second in the championship, for making head contact. This was later upgraded to a red card after a bunker review, leaving France with 14 players for the remaining 31 minutes.

Despite France’s deficit, the second half remained scoreless until the 69th minute when Menager scored her second try. A superb one-handed take from fellow try-scorer Vernier set up the attack which freed the winger to score the first points of the second half, converted by Queyroi, who added the extras to all three tries scored by the home side.

Menager wasn’t the only player who scored a brace as England’s Matthews added her second after another strong carrying effort from the forwards to eventually break down the 14-woman French defence. Aitchison converted to add the final points to the scoreboard and with it a round off a perfect afternoon from the tee.

In the 76th minute, Lucy Packer’s heroics denied France a fourth try as she held them up solo, and England remained ahead to see out the match to secure a dominant 21-point victory in a thrilling final match of the 2024 Women’s Six Nations.

Both England and France will compete in WXV 1 in Canada this September where England will look to defend their maiden title from last year.

Ireland will join them in Canada after an impressive final-round win in an attritional match against Scotland, which also saw them qualify for the 2025 Rugby World Cup.

The remaining three places in WXV 1 will be decided in the Pacific Four Series which kicks off on Sunday 28th April with USA vs Canada, and can be viewed in the United Kingdom for free on RugbyPass TV here.

Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 is coming to England. Register now here to be the first to hear about tickets.

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