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France beat Ireland, hand England 6N title

·2-min read

France's 35-27 victory over Ireland in Paris has handed Eddie Jones's England rugby's Six Nations title.

England had earlier beaten Italy 34-5 with a bonus point but had to wait to see if it was enough to reclaim the title after a three-year gap.

The French finished level on points with Eddie Jones's side but England took the trophy courtesy of a much better points difference, 44 to 21. Ireland were third.

Toulouse playmakers Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack outshone their Ireland counterparts Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton to assert their status as Europe's top halfback pairing.

Dupont and Ntamack's finishes were adorned by a penalty try and Virimi Vakatawa's score as France crushed Ireland's slender hopes of a fourth Six Nations title in seven years.

Robbie Henshaw powered in a stunning solo score and Jacob Stockdale crossed at the death too, but France refused to allow Ireland anything like the control Andy Farrell's side craved.

Ireland spent half the week expecting to require the win and a try bonus-point to claim the title - in the end it was Fabien Galthie's resurgent Les Bleus who claimed the four tries, and deservedly so.

England had earlier kept their side of the Six Nations bargain, easing past Italy 34-5 in Rome, halfback Ben Youngs celebrating his 100th cap by crossing twice in their five-try romp.

England captain Owen Farrell - the son of Ireland coach Andy - was a happy man after watching the Paris game from his team's Rome hotel.

"It got to a point where it seemed like it was going our way and it did," he told the BBC.

"It feels like we're just getting started, we had four new caps today and it feels like we have a brilliant blend of youth and experience to drive us forward and we are looking forward to what's in front of us."

In the day's other match, Scotland spoiled Alun Wyn Jones' world record-breaking day as they claimed a 14-10 victory over reigning champions Wales in Llanelli.

The Scots' triumph at a windswept Parc y Scarlets was their first away win against Wales for 18 years.

Wales had wanted to mark Jones' 149th Test appearance in a manner that befitted their captain, who was surpassing Richie McCaw's world Test match appearance record, but instead they suffered a fifth successive defeat.