France v England LIVE: Result and reaction as Les Bleus edge thrilling Six Nations finale in Lyon

England finished third in the Six Nations after a monster Thomas Ramos penalty in the final minute sent them spinning to a heartbreaking 33-31 defeat to France at Groupama Stadium.

Steve Borthwick’s men have trailed at half-time of every match of the championship and once more they faced an uphill battle, this time in the form of 16-6 deficit that included a try of the tournament contender for scrum half Nolann Le Garrec.

But they turned the contest on its head by amassing 21 unanswered points through two Ollie Lawrence tries and a Marcus Smith touch down as their attack ran amok through the France midfield. France regrouped to cross through Leo Barre and Gael Fickou but England were not done yet as Tommy Freeman stormed over in the right corner with five minutes remaining.

They appeared to have secured their fourth win of the Six Nations having staged multiple fightbacks but when they infringed just outside their half with seconds left, Ramos kept his nerve to hit the target.

Relive all the action below:

Six Nations updates: France v England

  • France beat England 33-31 in thrilling Six Nations finale in Lyon

  • Thomas Ramos’s late penalty ensures Les Bleus finish second in the championship, with England third

  • REPORT: England and France prove the future is bright in raucous Six Nations finale

  • FULL-TIME! France 33-31 England

  • 79’ - PENALTY! Ramos puts France back ahead with longe-range shot (FRA 33-31 ENG)

  • 75’ - TRY! Ford and Smith passes send Freeman over in the corner (FRA 30-31 ENG)

  • 61’ - TRY! Fickou runs it in after England overthrow lineout (FRA 30-24 ENG)

  • 57’ - TRY! Barre dots down after great offloading (FRA 23-24 ENG)

  • 46’ - TRY! Smith gets over after great Earl break (FRA 16-24 ENG)

  • 43’ - TRY! Lawrence barrels over for second try early in the second hafl (FRA 16-17 ENG)

  • 40’ - TRY! Lawrence strikes back for England just before the break to keep them in touch (FRA 16-10 ENG)

  • 20’ - TRY! Stunning France score finished by Le Garrec (FRA 10-3 ENG)

England and France prove the future is bright in raucous Six Nations finale

22:13 , Luke Baker

A Six Nations crown will have to wait for another year for France but any talk of a revolt has been most certainly dismissed. In a tournament that threatened to descend into disaster, France ultimately finish as Ireland’s closest challengers again as Thomas Ramos’ long-range penalty in the final minute snatched victory on a riotous night in Lyon.

The spite of the rivalry meant this was never likely to be a drab championship coda but few could have expected something contested with quite so much action and animosity. It was aided by a jumping home crowd, relishing a rare chance to see the men in blue in the Six Nations, at one point making the uprights quiver with a mighty thunderclap and active participants throughout. It was they who lifted the hosts at the last to deny England victory.

The St Patrick’s Day party will be mighty in Dublin with Andy Farrell’s side kings again, but there is something to celebrate at Twickenham and in Paris, too, both Steve Borthwick and Fabien Galthie relatively content with their efforts and confident there is more to come. England may have fallen short at the end but backed up their derailing of Ireland’s grand slam hopes with another performance of real character and confidence – though familiar first-half flaws will be of concern to their head coach.

Read Harry Latham-Coyle’s full report from Lyon:

England and France prove the future is bright in raucous Six Nations finale

More from Steve Borthwick on England’s defeat

22:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“I thought the players showed a great level of intensity throughout the game. France are a really good side with a lot of power and pace. The team stayed really composed and kept sticking at it, found that score before half time and worked their way into a winning position. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to get it over the line at the 80th minute, but that’s credit to France.”

And Jamie George adds: “I think we are on an upward trajectory. I think our set piece is in a really good place, our attack is building nicely, and defensively, what Felix Jones has done is coming together nicely. We didn’t find a way to win tonight and we’ll have to look at that moving forward, but I think we can be happy about where we are going.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Steve Borthwick on England’s defeat

22:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“My overriding emotion is immense pride in the players and gratitude to our supporters. The players played really well tonight and I am disappointed for them. It was a fantastic atmosphere and our supporters have been great with the team. I think the shirt is starting to feel a bit lighter.

“You look at the players and the fight they have, the intensity they have – I don’t think they are ever beaten, they just run out of time. Everyone watching that would have thought they had another score in them.

“This was an incredible Test match. Our supporters right now are probably feeling the disappointment, but also the pride in the team. I hope there are some boys and girls back home that these guys have influenced.”

Jamie George reacts to narrow England defeat

22:12 , Luke Baker

England captain Jamie George, speaking to ITV: “Devastated. It’s reminiscent of the last time in France against South Africa.

“I don’t really know how to sum that up. France showed their class, but we found a way back into the game.

“I am really proud of the boys, great effort. This is a team on an upward curve.

“The way we came out at the start of the second half was impressive. When we play, when we put teams under pressure with the ball, we look a very dangerous team.

“I felt like we put France under a lot of pressure tonight, but fair play to them they showed their class.

“Sometimes you can take the score out of it and take the performance as a whole, it was not perfect by all means but we gave it a good go and I thought our scrum and our set-piece held up nicely. Discipline let us down a little bit.

“The endeavour to go out there, have a crack and play with a smile on our faces, I thought the boys did that. I have loved the last seven weeks.”

 (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)
(Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

FULL-TIME! France 33-31 England

21:53 , Luke Baker

This was the moment France won it at the death

FULL-TIME! France 33-31 England

21:48 , Luke Baker

Wow, what a Test match! This week England lose it at the death, rather than win, but another promising performance.

France win it and after some bad moments in this championship, they’ll finish second.

That’s your 2024 Six Nations finished, folks.


France 33-31 England, 80 mins

21:46 , Luke Baker

Two phases and Ramos boots it into the stands! France win and finish second in the Championship.

France 33-31 England, 80 mins

21:45 , Luke Baker

France claim the kick-off. 30 seconds to hold on to the ball.

PENALTY! France 33-31 England (Thomas Ramos, 79 mins)

21:45 , Luke Baker

Bang centre, Thomas Ramos lines it up from the halfway line. It’s straight, it’s true and France lead!

Less than a minute left.

France 30-31 England, 78 mins

21:44 , Luke Baker

Two great tackles by Freeman. A tap tackle, then a cover tackle! Just as the French crowd were starting to get excited. But back for the penalty - bang on halfway.

Ramos will go for the posts... Huge kick

France 30-31 England, 77 mins

21:43 , Luke Baker

France play from around halfway. Colombe almost drops but hangs on to the ball. Just a penalty or drop goal needed to win it... And England pinged for a no-arms tackle. A long-range penalty if they need it.

TRY! France 30-31 England (Tommy Freeman, 75 mins)

21:40 , Luke Baker

And England have a try! Great work.

Care fizzes a pass to the right, Ford tips it on to Smith who finds the perfect moment to pass on to Tommy Freeman and he dives over in the corner.

Tough conversion from near the touchline and George Ford nails it! Superb kick, stays jsut inside the left post and England lead into the final four minutes.

France 30-24 England, 74 mins

21:40 , Luke Baker

France defend the maul so Care pops to Tuilagi to take into contact. Good carry by Itoje and England five metres out.

France 30-24 England, 73 mins

21:39 , Luke Baker

England struggling to get out of their own half at the minute. Ford feels like there’s not enough energy from his team and is geeing them up.

Smith pumps a long kick just over the halfway line into touch and off the lineout, Dombrandt chop tackles and jackals the ball to win a turnover. Top work! Finally a platform for England, about 12 metres out.

MISSED PENALTY! France 30-24 England (Thomas Ramos, 71 mins)

21:37 , Luke Baker

Penalty towards the right and this time, Thomas Ramos skews it wide of the right upright. England still just about in this game, although Les Bleus in control.

France 30-24 England, 70 mins

21:36 , Luke Baker

Great link-up between Lucu, Penaud and Barre sending the latter into the 22. Daly goes for an intercept but only with one hand, so knocks on and it’s a France penalty. Ramos will go for the posts to take this lead beyond a score.

Danny Care on for cap 101 in place of Alex Mitchell.

France 30-24 England, 70 mins

21:34 , Luke Baker

France maul effectively again from a lineout in their own half and Stuart then pinged for bringing it down. Ramos boots into the 22 and France can kill the game off here...

France 30-24 England, 68 mins

21:32 , Luke Baker

Gorgeous offload off the floor from Fickou to Moefana. But Ramos again too long with kick and it’s easy for Ford.

France 30-24 England, 67 mins

21:30 , Luke Baker

France are coming forward again as they build off a lineout just outside the 22. Mistake though as Alldritt knocks on in contact and England have a chance to breathe. They’re still within one score.

Maxime Lucu on at scrum half for Le Garrec, while England bring on Alex DOmbrandt for Sam Underhill. Earl goes to 7 and Dombrandt at 8

France 30-24 England, 64 mins

21:28 , Luke Baker

Can England settle this down after the carnage of the last few minutes? Some more French subs so they may lose a little cohesion. Lyon is absolutely rocking though

TRY! France 30-24 England (Gael Fickou, 61 mins)

21:24 , Luke Baker

Is it football? Is it rugby? Either way France have the lead again as Gael Fickou finishes it off.

England overthrow the lineout, ball bounces in midfield and France hack on. Penaud picks it up, men on his shoulder and offloads to Fickou for the run-in. Easy conversion and this game is ludicrous, in the best possible way!

France 23-24 England, 60 mins

21:23 , Luke Baker

What a game this has turned into. High-quality drama in Lyon. And now, for maybe the final time, Manu Tuilagi comes on for England - replacing Slade. Big boys in midfield!

He looks set to move to France at the end of the season and thus no longer be eligible for England selection

Manu Tuilagi responds to retirement speculation ahead of England clash with France

TRY! France 23-24 England (Leo Barre, 57 mins)

21:21 , Luke Baker

And France have their try! Space to the right, Le Garrec runs into it and pops an overhand pass to Ollivon. Smith can’t get high enough in the tackle to stop him offloading to Barre, who runs it in with even more of an overlap if it was needed. Efficient attack.

Easy conversion for Ramos and France back within a point

France 16-24 England, 55 mins

21:18 , Luke Baker

Roots on for Chessum in the England back row but here come France. Powerful carry after powerful carry into the English defenders. Seb Taofifenua with a particularly big hit.

France 16-24 England, 54 mins

21:18 , Luke Baker

France given a penalty as Smith contacts Ramos in the air when he jumps for a ball but Ramos misses touch with the kick. Another slightly dicey performance by Ramos at 10 so far today, much like the Wales game last week.

By contrast, Ford has been superb running things for England.

France 16-24 England, 52 mins

21:16 , Luke Baker

All-new front row for England as Theo Dan, Joe Marler and Will Stuart enter the fray.

France absolute monster a lineout maul and march forward but when Mauvaka splinters off, Mitchell gets his hand in to knock the ball loose. Good defence. Alldritt then pinged for not supporting his bodyweight at a ruck and England clear.

France 16-24 England, 49 mins

21:12 , Luke Baker

Here’s what Harry Latham-Coyle has made of it in Lyon

England are transformed. They've re-emerged after the interval with purpose, poise and punch, qualities they lacked in the first half, and France are swimming here. On comes the tight-five bench ballast to try and right the ship.

France 16-24 England, 48 mins

21:11 , Luke Baker

What a start to this second half! Wow.

France make changes as both Taofifenua brothers, Sebastian and Romain, are on.

TRY! France 16-24 England (Marcus Smith, 46 mins)

21:10 , Luke Baker

Oh my word! This is superb rugby from England suddenly.

Genge lines up in midfield from a lineout, fed the ball and France assume he will carry but he tips it on to Earl who attacks Ramos’s defensive channel, bursts through and passes to the supporting Marcus Smith, who ducks inside Penaud and dives over the line. It’s pure class.

Ford adds the extras and suddenly France are eight points down!

France 16-17 England, 45 mins

21:08 , Luke Baker

England immediately attacking again. It’s great play by Mitchell to go blind and Freeman barrels into the 22. He tries to offload back inside but a French hand tips it away from Mitchell. Almost perfect.

TRY! France 16-17 England (Ollie Lawrence, 43 mins)

21:05 , Luke Baker

England so close to scoring! Great flat pass to Underhill who breaks the line and he links up with Earl who looks set to score but stopped a metre short.

And now they have score! Ollie Lawrence again. Close to the line and it’s popped to the big centre to dive across.

Ford adds the conversion and somehow, someway, England lead this match.

France 16-10 England, 42 mins

21:03 , Luke Baker

Good run by Freeman down the right wing takes England into French territory

KICK-OFF! France 16-10 England

21:03 , Luke Baker

40 minutes of this Six Nations left. Can England pull off a smash-and-grab win?

WATCH: First-half highlights of France v England

20:58 , Luke Baker

Here are the tries from a very fun first half

HALF-TIME! France 16-10 England

20:55 , Luke Baker

Here are Harry Latham-Coyle’s half-time thoughts from Lyon

Life for England at the last in that half but that was a significant step back from last week's performance against Ireland. The Lyon crowd have been in to it from the start, roaring every French acceleration and making their displeasure felt whenever an Englishman hits the deck. Will Steve Borthwick pivot at half-time, or is he confident that this plan will come good after the interval?

HALF-TIME! France 16-10 England

20:51 , Luke Baker

An entertaining first half in Lyon

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

HALF-TIME! France 16-10 England

20:48 , Luke Baker

France have dominated this match and played some scintillating rugby but England’s strike just before half-time has given them a chance.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

TRY! France 16-10 England (Ollie Lawrence, 40 mins)

20:46 , Luke Baker

And England strike just before half-time! France stop the maul but then their defence goes to sleep.

First phase, Ford delays his pass slightly, Lawrence bursts through a half-hearted tackle from Fickou, slicing through the gap for the score under the posts. Ford adds the extras and England back in this.

France 16-3 England, 40 mins

20:45 , Luke Baker

Referee Angus Gardner warns the French to be disciplined. Third lineout, Chessum takes cleanly. Maul stopped six metres out

France 16-3 England, 39 mins

20:44 , Luke Baker

England go to the back and Chessum catches. Ollivon pinged for an early drive, so England have penalty advantage. Again we go to the corner. Penalties starting to rack up

France 16-3 England, 38 mins

20:43 , Luke Baker

Lineout taken smoothly and Earl runs crash ball. Atonio caught offside so back to the corner.

France 16-3 England, 37 mins

20:42 , Luke Baker

Great kick chase by Marcus Smith! Puts Penaud under pressure and tackles him into touch five metres from his line. What a chance to score this is.

PENALTY! France 16-3 England (Thomas Ramos, 36 mins)

20:41 , Luke Baker

France are just keeping things ticking here. Thomas Ramos belts another penalty - they’re dominating this match and now lead by 13.

France 13-3 England, 35 mins

20:40 , Luke Baker

England’s blitz defence makes a couple of stops before Penaud goes dancing 30 metres across the pitch, running sideways looking for a gap because Fracne have a penalty coming. What a runner he is.

This penalty is just within Ramos’s kicking range, so he’ll go to the posts from just inside England’s half.

France 13-3 England, 33 mins

20:39 , Luke Baker

France keep making line-breaks in this match. England maybe lucky to be within 10 points currently. Meafou receives treatment for an injury but back on his feet

PENALTY! France 13-3 England (Thomas Ramos, 32 mins)

20:37 , Luke Baker

Underhill plays the ball on the floor and that why the penalty was awarded. Thomas Ramos will go for the posts from out towards the left touchline. 42 metres away but the kick is true.

France 10-3 England, 30 mins

20:35 , Luke Baker

Good pick-up at the back of the scrum by Earl with the French pack pressuring. Probably saved a penalty against.

Itoje loses the ball though as Atonio rips it form him and Cros shakes off Genge and Martin attempted tackles, making great ground. France kick to the left but that stifles the attack. They’re playing with confidence though and a penalty coming.

France 10-3 England, 28 mins

20:34 , Luke Baker

This atmosphere is superb. The posts are literally shaking with the noise. Penaud knocks on as he tries to gather a loose ball after Earl touches a clearance kick to play everyone onside.

WATCH: France score wonderful counter-attack try

20:32 , Luke Baker

Here’s that France try. Well worth a watch!

France 10-3 England, 27 mins

20:31 , Luke Baker

More from our man in Lyon, Harry Latham-Coyle

There is a clear shift of strategy from England this week, slowing the game down at every opportunity and setting up their caterpillar rucks regularly when in possession. It appears to be playing into France's hands, allowing their big forwards time to recover and their backs a chance to cut England to ribbons on the counter-attack.

France 10-3 England, 27 mins

20:31 , Luke Baker

England defend the scrum well and Underhill makes a good hit. Ramos goes for a crossfield kick to Penaud, Smith defending and the ball is too long, bouncing out of the in-goal area. 22 dropout and will England will gratefully clear.

France 10-3 England, 26 mins

20:29 , Luke Baker

All a bit messy. Lawrence grabs the box kick but then loses it forward, ball bouncing everywhere and Itoje crunches his man.

Suddenly France on the counter again though! Penaud slices between two defenders and is marauding towards halfway. He kicks intot he acres of space ahead to give Bielle-Biarrey something to chase. The boy has gas but Smith juuust beats him to the ball and grounds it in the in-goal area.

TMO checking whether Smith took it across the line and determines he did, so it’s a France five-metre scrum.

France 10-3 England, 24 mins

20:27 , Luke Baker

Lineout works this time but England then fumble the ball and France hack clear. Daly has to retreat and does superbly to gather the ball before Martin with a superb clearout to stop the turnover. England can exit through a Mitchell box-kick.

France 10-3 England, 23 mins

20:26 , Luke Baker

Smith carries into contact and Mitchell then kicks really nicely, bamboozling Penaud and Egnland have the attacking lineout.

France 10-3 England, 22 mins

20:25 , Luke Baker

That all came from an England attacking lineout - simply superb by France. How can England respond?

TRY! France 10-3 England (Nolann Le Garrec, 20 mins)

20:23 , Luke Baker

AND HOW THEY COUNTER! What a try that is, they go coast to coast and score an absolute worldie.

Le Garrec with the flat pass in his own 22 and France get round the outside on the left. Great carry by Fickou, offloaded and Barre makes more yards. Ball flicked inside and eventually Le Garrec can run in under the posts. Simply sublime.

Ramos adds the conversion and France take the lead.

France 3-3 England, 19 mins

20:22 , Luke Baker

Cros disrupts the England lineout superbly and France can counter from their own 22.

PENALTY! France 3-3 England (Thomas Ramos, 18 mins)

20:21 , Luke Baker

Penalty is dead centre, 44 metres away and Thomas Ramos crunches it through. Typically impeccable from the tee.

France 0-3 England, 17 mins

20:20 , Luke Baker

England survived that early wave of French pressure well and have settled into this contest now, quieting the crowd as well. They run some phases around halfway but Atonio crunches Itoje, so Ford kicks. Good kick chase by England but well-taken by France.

Marchand then gets over the ball really well at the breakdown when Smith is chop-tackled by Cros and it’s a penalty, which Ramos will kick for goal.

France 0-3 England, 14 mins

20:18 , Luke Baker

Lovely take by Itoje from the kick-off and then a great box-kick by Mitchell that puts Penaud and Barre under pressure. England win a free-kick from the scrum but Ford slightly too long with the kick and Ramos calls mark.

PENALTY! France 0-3 England (George Ford, 12 mins)

20:15 , Luke Baker

George Ford kicked poorly against Ireland but, from 42 metres, he curls the kick between the posts. He’s 31 today - beating France would be some birthday present.

France 0-0 England, 11 mins

20:14 , Luke Baker

This mammoth French pack will want to make a statement at scrum-time. After one reset, it’s England who win the penalty as Atonio pinged for going down. Great work by Genge.

Ford signals for the kicking tee and will have a go at the posts.

France 0-0 England, 9 mins

20:13 , Luke Baker

Nice footwork by Slade, almost gets past Baille but the prop tackles well. Daly then carries hard into Cros! England scrum

France 0-0 England, 8 mins

20:11 , Luke Baker

Here’s what our man on the ground in Lyon, Harry Latham-Coyle has made of this opening

The French crowd are properly into this. George Ford's claiming of a mark there was met with proper boos, and the home fans aren't particularly happy about the number of England players going down for treatment so far, which is breaking up their side's flow. Losing George Furbank so early is far from ideal for England, though - Marcus Smith reprises his World Cup role and is on at full-back.

France 0-0 England, 8 mins

20:10 , Luke Baker

Ford’s tackle dislodges the ball from Penaud and Daly thumps a massive kick deep in French territory. Returned in kind by Ramos.

George Furbank looks in distress with what is apparently a calf issue. He looks distraught and will need to be subbed here. Marcus Smith stripping off to come on as full back. Freddie Steward not in the matchday 23 remember

France 0-0 England, 7 mins

20:08 , Luke Baker

Big hit by Penaud on Lawrence to force the England centre into touch! Le Crunch indeed...

Genge penalised for going into the side of a maul from the lineout and Ramos finds touch just outside the 22 for another attacking French platform. Their maul has been good so far.

France 0-0 England, 5 mins

20:07 , Luke Baker

France splintered the Welsh scrum last week but solid start by England, good propping by Genge but France retain possession. Ramos knocks on but England kick to touch for territory.

Decent maul from Les Bleus and Le Garrec exits with the box-kick deep to Freeman, who runs back infield

France 0-0 England, 3 mins

20:05 , Luke Baker

Alex Mitchell receiving treatment on his wrist and England will hope that isn’t serious after a brilliant display against Ireland.

England win the lineout with Itoje but France pinch the ball at the ruck, good work by Meafou. Itoje makes amends to force the ball loose from Le Garrec, it’s booted clear and France have a scrum on halfway. Breathless start!

France 0-0 England, 2 mins

20:03 , Luke Baker

Lyon is absolutely rocking! Some early French flair as a through-the-legs pass from Fickou and quick hands allow Depoortere to make good ground on the left flank. Exploiting space in England’s blitz defence.

Cannonball carry from the massive Atonio up the middle. But Ramos’s kick through straight into touch for a first mistake.

KICK-OFF! France 0-0 England

20:01 , Luke Baker

Underway in the final game of the 2024 Six Nations. Let’s get it!

Only after a false start though. Referee Angus Gardner said 10 seconds to go but Thomas Ramos thought he could kick-off. Second time lucky and Ramos kicks deep

France v England

19:57 , Luke Baker

A slightly clunky rendition of God Save The King but La Marseillaise superb as ever. Kick-off imminent

France v England

19:55 , Luke Baker

It feels fervent in Lyon as the players walk out on to the pitch - the final stop in Les Bleus’ road-trip around France. Defeat in Marseille, disappointing draw in Lille, what will a third city offer?

Anthems coming shortly

Steve Borthwick demands intensity from his England team

19:51 , Luke Baker

Steve Borthwick has been speaking to ITV ahead of this evening’s clash to give his thoughts on how England can win

France v England

19:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And the French supporters make themselves known, booing and whistling the England players off the pitch. It’s bubbling away rather nicely with kick off just 15 minutes away.

France v England

19:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There’s a healthy number of French fans already in their seats, engaging in a bit of pre-match repartee with the stadium announce team, chanting along to the chansons. France haven’t quite enlivened the crowd in their first two home games in this tournament - indeed, including the World Cup quarter-final defeat, it is three on the spin without a win on home soil. Will that change tonight?

France v England

19:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Both sides are out on the carpet-like Groupama Stadium surface, England’s forwards engaging in a few final scrums under the guidance of scrum coach Tom Harrison and head coach Steve Borthwick. Lots of kicking in the visitors’ warm-up, too - you wonder if they might go back towards a kick pressure strategy more tonight after largely shunning the boot during the win over Ireland.

France v England match officials

19:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Referee: Angus Gardner (Aus)

ARs: Nika Amashukeli (Geo) & Damian Schneider (Arg)

TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wal)

France v England referee: Who is Six Nations official Angus Gardner?


19:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

So with Ireland (just about) taking care of business in Dublin, it makes this encounter a shootout for second place, the winner going above Scotland on the end of championship ladder. They could both climb above Gregor Townsend’s side - England start tied on 12 competition points and need only a single bonus point to be certain of finishing above their Calcutta Cup rivals, while France will also be fine with a losing bonus point or more. A hugely positive tournament for Italy still leaves them fifth, above only wooden spooners Wales.

France v England talking points

19:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England and France clash in the climax to the 2024 Guinness Six Nations in Lyon on Saturday night, by which time it will already be known if anything is at stake on the match.

Here the PA news agency examines five talking points as England aim to snatch the title from Ireland’s grasp.

Key talking points as England conclude Six Nations campaign against France

Steve Borthwick ‘hopeful’ that Manu Tuilagi stays in England ahead of possible farewell

19:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Steve Borthwick is “hopeful” that Manu Tuilagi may yet stay in England and continue his international career ahead of what could be a Test farewell for the centre.

Tuilagi, who will feature off the bench against France in Lyon, has been strongly linked with a move abroad throughout his career and is again the subject of interest from France, with Bayonne and Montpellier among his suitors.

The 32-year-old appears set to leave Sale Sharks, who would struggle to retain him within the Premiership’s salary cap.

Steve Borthwick ‘hopeful’ Manu Tuilagi stays in England ahead of potential farewell

France v England

18:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle in Lyon

Bon soir from Lyon and Groupama Stadium, where thousands of fans are beginning to make their way in having survived the crammed trams on the way in. There was a nasty little shower this morning that caught me off guard, but the skies cleared around lunchtime and it looks a pleasant evening for a bit of running rugby.

England have been here since Thursday afternoon, with a couple of the squad out skimming stones on the Rhone this morning and taking in the charms of this great city.

How England can conquer France’s heavy artillery in Six Nations showdown

18:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The city of Lyon, then Lugdunum, was a place of centrality in the story of the Roman empire, seized after the demise of Julius Caesar and established as the capital of the Gauls. Two emperors were born on the Fourviere hill that now overlooks this marvellous metropolis, one of the great sites of pilgrimage for gastronomes and gourmands, modern tendrils twisting away from the classical rues of the riverbanks.

It was here in the late 2nd century that one of the empire’s biggest, bloodiest battles occurred, Emperor Septimius Severus quelling the forces of usurper Coldius Albinus to at last establish calm after a period of extreme turmoil. Seeking something similar this weekend in Lyon is Steve Borthwick after England’s own period of unrest, the head coach building from the biggest win of his tenure so far and recognising an opportunity for another significant step forward.

England’s narrow victory over Ireland was proof of the process and progress that Borthwick is wanting from his team. For the first time since 2020, they will finish a Six Nations with more than two victories; regardless of how events in Dublin on Saturday impact upon their title ambitions, a record of four wins from five is a distinct possibility.

Read Harry Latham-Coyle’s full preview:

How England can conquer France’s heavy artillery in Six Nations showdown

England team news

18:15 , Luke Baker

England make a single change to their starting side with Immanuel Feyi-Waboso out after suffering a head injury.

Elliot Daly returns on the wing, while Ethan Roots and Manu Tuilagi are brought onto the bench with Chandler Cunningham-South absent with a calf issue.

It could yet be Tuilagi’s final appearance for England with the centre understood to be mulling a move overseas at the end of the season.

England XV: 1 Ellis Genge, 2 Jamie George (capt.), 3 Dan Cole; 4 Maro Itoje, 5 George Martin; 6 Ollie Chessum, 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Ben Earl; 9 Alex Mitchell, 10 George Ford; 11 Elliot Daly, 12 Ollie Lawrence, 13 Henry Slade, 14 Tommy Freeman; 15 George Furbank.

Replacements: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Ethan Roots, 20 Alex Dombrandt; 21 Danny Care, 22 Marcus Smith, 23 Manu Tuilagi.

France team news

18:00 , Luke Baker

Fabien Galthie has named an unchanged French 23 after surging clear against Wales in Cardiff last Sunday.

Youngsters Nolann Le Garrec, Nicolas Depoortere and Leo Barre are backed in the backline having made their first starts in round four, with Emmanuel Meafou again providing plenty of threat in the second row. Thomas Ramos continues at fly half.

France XV: 1 Cyril Baille, 2 Julien Marchand, 3 Uini Atonio; 4 Thibaud Flament, 5 Emmanuel Meafou; 6 Francois Cros, 7 Charles Ollivon, 8 Gregory Alldritt (capt.); 9 Nolann Le Garrec, 10 Thomas Ramos; 11 Louis Bielle-Biarrey, 12 Nicolas Depoortere, 13 Gael Fickou, 14 Damian Penaud; 15 Leo Barre

Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Sebastien Taofifenua, 18 Georges-Henri Colombe, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Alexandere Roumat, 21 Paul Boudehent; 22 Maxime Lucu, 23 Yoram Moefana

Follow Ireland v Scotland

17:45 , Luke Baker

Before this match in Lyon, Ireland are playing Scotland in Dublin. The game’s in the balance at half-time with the Irish leading 7-6. England and France rooting for the Scots in that one.

Follow all the action with our live blog:

Ireland v Scotland LIVE: Latest updates from Six Nations title decider

England’s Under 20s secure title with impressive win over France

17:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

One England team has already tasted success on French soil this weekend, their Under 20s mightily impressive in Pau last night to clinch their own Six Nations crown. France had heaps of Top 14 experience in their ranks but it is a talented group of young Englishmen, too - look out for lightning quick flanker Henry Pollock, scrummaging savant Asher Opoku-Fordjour and versatile back Ben Redshaw, who may all be pulling on a senior shirt before long.

Mighty Emmanuel Meafou issues England warning after ‘emotional’ France debut

17:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Emmanuel Meafou made his long-awaited France debut in Cardiff last week, the enormous lock impressive with his softer touches and hard carrying. It would have been little surprise to those who have watched him star for Toulouse over the last few seasons - The Independent caught up with the giant lock shortly after victory was secured.

Mighty Meafou issues England warning after ‘emotional’ France debut

France v England referee: Who is Six Nations official Angus Gardner?

17:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia’s Angus Gardner will take charge of France vs England in the final fixture of the Six Nations.

It is a second consecutive week with a championship appointment for Gardner, who replaced the injured Jaco Peyper for the round four clash between Italy and Scotland.

Here’s a bit more about him and the rest of his officiating team:

France v England referee: Who is Six Nations official Angus Gardner?

France v England

16:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Will France and England have a title to target tonight? They’ll need Scotland to do them a favour in Dublin - a daunting task given Ireland’s remarkable recent home record. The second helping of Six Nations Super Saturday action is upon us, and you can follow every twist, turn and try with our LIVE coverage here:

Ireland v Scotland LIVE: Latest updates ahead of Six Nations title decider

Fabien Galthie urges France to match England’s intensity

16:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France coach Fabien Galthie has urged his side to match England’s intensity to secure a winning finish to the Six Nations.

A big win over Wales has relieved some pressure on the former scrum half but a victory in Le Crunch would further get French fans back on board after a tough start to the tournament.

“To win this match, we will have to move forward: in the scrum, with the kicking game, on collisions,” Galthie said. “We will have to reverse the pressure and for that what counts is energy. The fighting intensity of the English will be enormous.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Steve Borthwick reveals key mindset shift that inspired shock England win over Ireland

16:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Steve Borthwick has urged his England team to continue to stay true to themselves and his gameplan after a statement victory over Ireland at Twickenham.

Borthwick’s side secured a shock win over a side described as the “best in the world” by their head coach ahead of the game to deny Ireland a shot at an historic second consecutive Six Nations grand slam.

It was best performance since Borthwick took over as head coach at the start of 2023, with England the better side for large periods of the game and holding their nerve at the end as Marcus Smith’s drop goal secured victory in the final moments.

Steve Borthwick reveals key mindset shift that inspired shock England win

Ben Earl’s ‘ceiling is way off’ as England star strives to become ‘world class’

16:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

One of the stars of this tournament has been Ben Earl, the Saracen making the England number eight shirt his own after a breakthrough World Cup - and he’s warned his rivals that there is plenty more to come.

Ben Earl’s ‘ceiling is way off’ as England star strives to become ‘world class’

John Mitchell: Red Roses squad depth reminds me of the All Blacks

15:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Red Roses head coach John Mitchell has said that England’s depth reminds him of the All Blacks sides of old after gushing about the pool of players at his disposal ahead of the Women’s Six Nations.

Mitchell has named three uncapped players in his 35-player squad ahead of his first tournament in full charge of England’s women, including back row Maddie Feaunati, who has turned down a Black Ferns contract to join up with the group.

The returns of Abbie Ward, Zoe Harrison and Emily Scarratt also bolster a group that Mitchell believes “sent a message” to the world with a decisive victory over world champions New Zealand at WXV in the autumn.

John Mitchell: Red Roses depth reminds me of the All Blacks

Emily Scarratt and Zoe Harrison set for Red Roses return as Women’s Six Nations squad named

15:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Emily Scarratt and Zoe Harrison are set to return to England rugby colours during the Women’s Six Nations after being recalled to John Mitchell’s squad after injury.

The pair missed most of 2023 with after respective neck and knee injuries, but have made promising comebacks at club level to earn inclusion in a 35-player group. The pair are in line to win their first caps since the World Cup final in 2022 alongside lock Abbie Ward, who returns after giving birth to a daughter last July.

Uncapped Exeter back row Maddie Feaunati, who also qualifies for New Zealand, is an eye-catching inclusion in the first official squad Mitchell has named since being appointed as Red Roses coach.

Emily Scarratt and Zoe Harrison set for Red Roses return as Six Nations squad named

Ex-NFL star Christian Wade to replace NFL hopeful Louis Rees-Zammit at Gloucester

15:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Gloucester have signed former Wasps and England winger Christian Wade – who quit rugby in 2018 to join the NFL’s International Player Pathway – just weeks after losing ex-Wales star Louis Rees-Zammit to the same programme.

The 32-year-old will join from French club Racing 92 ahead of the 2024/25 season and will help fill the void left by Rees-Zammit’s shock move to the US.

Wade was drafted to the Buffalo Bills in 2019 but never played a competitive NFL match and returned to rugby in 2022.

Ex-NFL star Christian Wade to replace NFL hopeful Louis Rees-Zammit at Gloucester

Gregory Alldritt believes France can feed off fans’ fervour

14:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Gregory Alldritt insists France will feed off their supporters’ enthusiasm for ‘Le Crunch’ when they clash with England in Lyon on Saturday.

Les Bleus have a mathematical chance of winning the Guinness Six Nations title in the finale to the tournament but for their captain the encounter is as much about understanding its meaning for fans.

“In terms of rugby, it’s like any other match. We know for all our fans, all French people, they’re our best enemies. People love this match, which makes it a special moment too,” Alldritt said.

“We haven’t always managed to get our fans together and do what we’ve wanted to do on the field. Against England we have a chance to do that.

“We’re determined to put in a big performance to make them proud because we know it’s the end of the Six Nations and they will only see us again in the summer.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Immanuel Feyi-Waboso smart to report concussion symptoms – Richard Wigglesworth

14:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England wing Immanuel Feyi-Waboso has prioritised his health over the prospect of facing France after self-reporting symptoms of concussion.

Attack coach Richard Wigglesworth revealed Feyi-Waboso was ruled out of the climax to the Guinness Six Nations in Lyon after he became “groggy” in the wake of Saturday’s 23-22 victory over Ireland.

Although the 21-year-old Exeter University medical student finished the match, it was only afterwards that he felt the effects of a possible concussion that cannot be traced to any one incident on the field.

Immanuel Feyi-Waboso smart to report concussion symptoms – Richard Wigglesworth

France v England

14:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The first match of Super Saturday is just getting underway in Cardiff, with Warren Gatland’s Wales knowing victory against Italy is a must if they are to avoid a first wooden spoon since 2003. We’ve got LIVE coverage here - tuck in!

Wales v Italy LIVE: Latest Six Nations updates from Cardiff

Women’s Six Nations may need ‘more competitive matches’ to grow, admits CEO

14:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Tom Harrison also gave his thoughts on the Women’s Six Nations, which begins next weekend with England again hot favourites to retain their title. Can anyone other than France challenge the Red Roses? Harrison admits that a more competitive tournament may be a must if it is to continue to grow.

Women’s Six Nations may need ‘more competitive matches’ to grow, admits CEO

Six Nations CEO reveals stance on bonus points after criticism

13:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There is a scenario today where Ireland secure another Six Nations crown despite having won fewer games than England. It is a quirk of the bonus point system that has drawn criticism from some quarters, but Six Nations chief executive Tom Harrison suggested earlier this week that they are here to stay.

Six Nations CEO reveals stance on bonus points after criticism

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website