Women's Six Nations: England clinch Grand Slam after 38-33 win over France

Simon Middleton ended his tenure with England with another Grand Slam
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England 38-33 France, Twickenham Stadium

England managed to overcome a second half fightback from France as they sealed a 38-33 win in the final round of the tournament at Twickneham Stadium to claim the Grand Slam in the Six Nations tournament.

Playing in front of a 58,498 fans, England now have sealed a fifth championship in a row.

France won an early penalty chance but Jessy Tremouliere could not convert and her next three pointer went into the corner. However, England soon began to reclaim control as Helena Rowland broke into the defence of France before the ball was worked wide to send Abby Dow over the line for the first points in the 17th minute.

Rowland missed the conversion but ensured she added in the second try from Marlie Packer in the 25th minute after a perfect offload from Tatyana Heard making the scoreline 12-0.

France's chances were held back after they list Tremouliere and Rose Bernadou to yellow cards in the 31st and 35th minutes for a deliberate knock-on and a dangerous tackle on Lucy Packer respectively with the second also resulting in a penalty try making it 26-0.

With the numerical advantage on their side, England continued to dominate as Zoe Aldcroft went past a couple of tackles to score and Rowland improved.

The first response from France came eight minutes into the second half when Trémoulière found Emilie Boulard, who went over and in the 55th minute Gabrielle Vernier went past a tackle from Lucy Packer to score her fifth try of the tournament. With Tremouliere converting both the tries, the scoreline became 38-14.

The gap came down to 17 points with Davies and Charlotte Escudero exchanging tries and just when England thought they had enough lead, the visitors gave them a late scare with Emeline Gros and Cyrielle Banet crossing over in the final five minutes of the game but nevertheless the red rose team gave a perfect send off for Simon Middleton, who completed his sixth title with the team since he took over.

Team line up:

England: Kildunne; Dow, Rowland, Heard, MacDonald; Aitchison, L Packer; Botterman, Davies, Bern; Aldcroft, Beckett; Kabeya, M Packer (capt), Matthews.

Reserves: Powell, Carson, Muir, Cleall, Talling, Hunt, Reed, Breach.

France: Boulard; Banet, M Menager, Vernier, Llorens; Tremouliere, Bourdon; Brosseau, Sochat, Bernadou, Feleu, Forlani (capt), Berthoumieu, Hermet, Escudero.

Reserves: Riffonneau, Mwayembe, Khalfaoui, R Menager, Gros, Chambon, Arbez, Filopon.