Source: ©INPHO/Craig Watson

Gaelle Mignot inspires France to 6 Nations victory

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England Women’s dream of landing the 2016 Six Nations Grand Slam ended in heartbreak on Friday night when the side lost 17-12 to France in a winner-takes-all decider.

Women's Six Nations Championship Round 4, Twickenham Stoop, London, England 12/3/2016 England vs Wales England's Amber Reed Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/CameraSport/Rob Newell

England’s Amber Reed (Photo: ©INPHO/CameraSport/Rob Newell)

The French walked away from the Stade de la Rabine, Vannes, as Six Nations champions after holding off England in a hard fought victory. England will finish second in the tournament, although the remaining nations have yet to play their final games.

England led 7-5 at the break after Lydia Thompson broke four tackles to go over in the corner with Amber Reed sending over the conversion. France responded through captain Gaelle Mignot who bundled over from close range.

The hosts had the lead for the first time as a driving maul took Audrey Forlani over and Camille Cabalou nailed the conversion. England drew level at 12-12 after Tamara Taylor powered over but Reed’s conversion hit the post.

With 10 minutes left Mignot had her second try with another drive from a French line-out taking them over for 17-12. England had late pressure but France held out for victory to win the title.

England headed into the game looking to win their first Six Nations since 2012. Their 2016 campaign marked a huge turnaround from last year’s tournament which saw a relatively inexperienced side finish fourth.

Lead Coach Scott Bemand said: “We knew this would be a tough game tonight but it is hard to swallow. The girls have done everything that was asked of them – they have shown character and commitment. We tried to play our brand against a really tough French team, in front of a crowd of 10,000 people.

“We have to regroup, go back and this team is going to continue to evolve and get better. We have a summer tour, we’re going to dust ourselves off and get back on the rails for that. Tonight was a genuine test match.”

England Scorers
Tries: Lydia Thompson, Tamara Taylor
Conversions: Amber Reed

France Scorers
Tries: Gaelle Mignot (2), Audrey Forlani
Conversions: Camille Cabalou

England match-day 23 against France

15. Katie Mason (Bristol)
14. Lydia Thompson (Worcester)
13. Lauren Cattell (Saracens)
12. Ceri Large (Worcester)
11. Lotte Clapp (Saracens)
10. Amber Reed (Bristol)
9. La Toya Mason (Darlington Mowden Park)

1. Rochelle Clark (Worcester)
2. Emma Croker (Richmond)
3. Vickii Cornborough (Richmond)
4. Emily Braund (Lichfield)
5. Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park)
6. Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield)
7. Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol)
8. Sarah Hunter (Bristol)

16. Amy Cokayne (Lichfield)4
17. Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park)
18. Bianca Dawson (Wasps)
19. Poppy Leitch (Bristol)
20. Poppy Cleall (Saracens)
21. Bianca Blackburn (Worcester)
22. Leanne Riley (Richmond)
23. Ruth Laybourn (Darlington Mowden Park)


  1. Laura Delas
  2. Camille Cabalou
  3. Lucille Godiveau
  4. Elodie Poublan
  5. Julie Billes
  6. Camille Imart
  7. Pauline Bourdon
  8. Lise Arricastre
  9. Gaelle Mignot
  10. Julie Duval
  11. Audrey Forlani
  12. Celine Ferer
  13. Pauline Rayssac
  14. Laetitia Grand
  15. Safi N’Diaye


  1. Manon Bigot
  2. Maylis Traore Dhia
  3. Patricia Carricaburu
  4. Romane Menager
  5. Julie Annery
  6. Camille Boudaud
  7. Coralie Bertrand
  8. Caroline Boujard

England Women Six Nations:

Scotland 0 – 32 England
Friday 5 February
Broadwood Stadium, Glasgow

Italy 24 – 33 England
Saturday 23 February
Stadio Gino Pistoni, Ivrea

England 13-9 Ireland
Saturday 27 February
Twickenham Stadium

England 20-13 Wales
Saturday 12 March
Twickenham Stoop

England 12 – 17 France
Friday 18 March
Stade de la Rabine, Vannes

Report courtesy of England Rugby