England beat France to win sixth straight Six Nations title

England ran in six tries to claim a sixth successive Women's Six Nations title with a 42-21 victory over hosts France in their championship decider in Bordeaux on Saturday and claim the Grand Slam for the third year in a row.

The Red Roses used their forward power to score tries through hooker Amy Cokayne, centre Megan Jones, flanker Marlie Packer, prop Maud Muir and No. 8 Alex Matthews (two) as they led 35-14 at halftime.

France remained in the contest despite a second half red card for prop Assia Khalfaoui and their three scores came via centre Gaby Vernier and winger Marine Ménager (two).

Fly-half Holly Aitchison shrugged off the goal-kicking issues that have plagued her throughout the championship to register a 100% conversion rate at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.

England topped the table with 28 points, followed by France on 19. Ireland finished third in the championship following a 15-12 win over fourth-placed Scotland, while Wales collected the wooden spoon despite a 22-20 victory over Italy.

"Super proud of all the girls, we have been building as a group on and off the pitch," England captain Packer told the BBC. "We are well and truly into a [coach] John Mitchell era and we will keep growing as a group.

"What an amazing atmosphere and quite hostile but it means we can turn it up when we need to. It means everything but I am lifting it [the trophy] with the girls, I am not on my own.

"It has taken a squad effort, not just as coaches and players but from the backroom staff as well."

There had been talk of the Women's Six Nations being essentially a two-horse race from the start with England and France again well ahead of the rest in terms of quality.

This season's championship will have done little to dispel that as England scored 229 points and conceded only 44 in their five matches.

The visitors were on the front foot from the first whistle and raced into a 14-0 lead as Muir and Matthews crossed for tries.

But the home side hit back with a superb running line from Vernier as she scythed through the England defence to dot down.

France needed to settle down the game from there but a loose pass as they tried to run out of defence allowed Jones to intercept and race clear, though Ménager showed her pace to cross out wide as they hit back again.

But England were dominant in the forwards and both Packer and Cokayne dotted down from mauls to give the visitors a 35-14 halftime lead.

France were not helped by a yellow card, later upgraded to red on bunker review, for Khalfaoui, who was penalised for a high shot on England lock Morwenna Talling at a breakdown.

Menagér scored her second try to close the gap to 14 points with 10 minutes remaining but England quelled any hint of a comeback when Matthews also got her second.