Charles Ollivon scored two tries to help France claim an emphatic 24-17 win against arch-rivals England in Paris on Sunday.
The 2020 installment of the Six Nations has its first upset. France have beaten England, the side that hammered the All Blacks in the 2019 World Cup semi-final and finished second at the global tournament in Japan.
The hosts took their early chances on attack and managed to repel England at the other end of the field. By half-time, they had amassed a commanding 17-0 lead.
Skipper Charles Ollivon powered over for his second of the afternoon in the 54th minute. Romain Ntamack’s conversion edged the French one step closer to a famous win.
England registered their first points two minutes later when Jonny May chased down his own kick. Owen Farrell’s conversion reduced the deficit to 17 points.
May added a second when he stepped off his wing and beat several defenders. Farrell converted, and suddenly England were right back in the contest.
England managed to keep the pressure on in the dying stages. While they were unable to complete a comeback victory, Farrell did kick a penalty at the death to secure his team a losing bonus-point.
England will face Scotland at Murrayfield next weekend while France will host Italy.
France – Tries: Vincent Rattez, Charles Ollivion (2). Conversions: Romain Ntamack (3). Penalty: Ntamack.
England – Tries: Jonny May (2). Conversions: Owen Farrell (2). Penalty: Farrell.
France – 15 Anthony Bouthier, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Vincent Rattez, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon (c), 6 Francois Cros, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille.
Subs: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Jefferson Poirot, 18 Demba Bamba, 19 Boris Palu, 20 Cameron Woki, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Mathieu Jalibert, 23 Arthur Vincent.
England – 15 George Furbank, 14 Jonny May, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Tom Curry, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Charlie Ewels, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler.
Subs: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 George Kruis, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Jonathan Joseph.
Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images