Ben Te'o seals win as England set record

England's Grand Slam dreams are still alive but here's five conclusions that we can gather from their first win of 2017.

England's growing strength in depth was underlined in bold at Twickenham as the influx of replacements in the last 20 minutes dragged the initiative from France and helped the Six Nations champions battle out a 19-16 victory.

"We can't get much uglier than that", Jones said.

In a post-match interview with ITV, Jones quipped: "It [the performance] is still ugly, but the result's attractive".

The second half picked up where the first left off as both teams looked to run the ball from anywhere.

"It's really important that we're in the game right from the start and that's in the head".

"We have so many good finishers and Benny Te'o came on and took his try very well".

England start off their Six Nations defence against a France side who far from disgraced themselves in defeats before Christmas to New Zealand and Australia.

But the English defence managed to clear the danger and push centre Remi Lamerat into touch just inches short from a potential opening try.

Serin is joined in the half-backs by Clermont fly-half Camille Lopez, with Gael Fickou handed his chance at inside centre due to Wesley Fofana's Achilles injury, which rules him out of the championship.

A scrappy and try-less first half which saw England wing Jonny May sin-binned for a risky tackle ended all square at 9-9.

Farrell pen did put England briefly ahead with his fourth penalty in the 55th minute but, against the run of play, France responded.

And Lopez sent a long-range effort from near the touchline floating between the posts to increase the lead.

Northampton man Wood ruined a threatening England move as they surged to within 15 yards of the French line but the flanker was penalised for going to ground at the ruck.

Indeed, Jack Nowell, who probably would have started had he not missed two days of training earlier in the week for personal reasons, surely did enough to suggest he will be on the wing next week. By halftime, Farrell and Elliot Daly kicked England back on even terms even though the home side looked second best.

Farrell converted and England saw out the closing minutes.

Maro Itoje, England's outstanding player in 2016 and normally a lock, makes his first global start at blind-side flanker, while Courtney Lawes partners Joe Launchbury in the second row following the withdrawal earlier in the week of George Kruis.

Desperate England powered forward for a response and Te'o burst over at full pace for a crucial score.

The stuttering hosts made hard work of victory at Twickenham, eventually prevailing 19-16 thanks to a first worldwide try from replacement, former Junior Kiwis league player Ben Te'o 11 minutes from the end.

England head to Wales next Saturday with plenty food for thought.

The hooker said: "We dug in and found a way".

  • Rosalie Stanley