England Women U20 suffered a 22-12 defeat at the Stade Jacques Couvret in France on Saturday despite taking the lead by half time.
The side put up a strong performance to score their first points in France since 2010 and Abigail Dow ran the full length of the pitch to score a try after 18 minutes.
However, the French were able to reply with a try from Marine Menager and England lost Sarah Bern to the sin bin.
Both sides came back from half time fighting but it was England who were back on the board first after Zoe Harrison intercepted to make a 50m dash for the try line, but again the French were able to respond and a team effort put them over.
A strong final 10 minutes from France proved too much for the visitors, with Menager scoring her second try of the afternoon in the final minute, the end score stood at 22-12.
Coach Jo Yapp said: “It was a tough result for the girls and they left everything out on the field. Both sides had really stepped up and it was a very physical game.
“As a team and individuals we have developed throughout these three games and the players have learnt a lot on and off the field that will support them to progress and perform as senior international players when they make that step up.
“Moving forward we have the opportunity to come together again for three tests against Canada in the summer.”
Yapp finally paid tribute to England U20 Strength and Conditioning Coach Julie Twaddle, who leaves the England set up to join Manchester City Football Club
She added: “After 10 years involved within the England set-up we would like to thank her for her huge contribution to the teams she has worked with. She will be greatly missed.”
Saturday was the second of two games against France this month, with sides drawing at Esher RFC on 5 March.
Report courtesy of England Rugby