- England - Tries: May, Cons: Farrell, Pen: Farrell (2), Daly
- France - Tries: penalty try, Pen: Machenaud (4) Beauxis
England's hopes of retaining their NatWest 6 Nations title ended with a 22-16 loss to France in Paris.
The first half was ruled by the boot as Owen Farrell (twice) and Elliot Daly traded penalties with Maxime Machenaud, for a 9-9 half time score.
A penalty try for France and yellow card for Anthony Watson handed the home side the ascendancy early in the second half, and despite a spirited fightback and Jonny May try, England were unable to prevail in Paris.
All square after 40
It was England who struck first, through the boot of captain Farrell, after Rabah Slimani was penalised in the first scrum of the match.
Both sides showed plenty of attacking ambition in the following 10 minutes, as they jostled for territory, but neither side could convert opportunities into points.
Daly, who was making his first Test start since November 2017, doubled England’s lead on the 20 minute mark – dissecting the sticks from 55 metres out – before opposition scrum half Machenaud got the hosts on the scoreboard.
Farrell hit another penalty, but not to be outdone, Machenaud converted a further two in quick succession to level the scores at 9-9 at the break.
England started the brighter of the two in the second stanza, working their way into the opposition 22 and hitting aggressive runners off of Danny Care, but staunch French defence in the shape of Mathieu Bastareaud thwarted them.
France were awarded a penalty try in the 48th minute for a high tackle on Benjamin Fall by England full back Anthony Watson (yellow card) a metre from the whitewash, giving the hosts the lead for the first time in the match.
France then extended their lead to 10 points courtesy of Machenaud, who hit his fourth penalty of the night.
Substitutes Luke Cowan-Dickie, Kyle Sinckler, James Haskell and Jonathan Joseph made an immediate impact in the final quarter of the match, and proved pivotal to England's try, charging forward before a wide pass found Daly out wide, who in turn lifted the ball inside for May to cross.
But France's response was immediate, and substitute Lionel Beauxis scored their fifth penalty of the night. England looked like they might strike late to steal the match, but knocked the ball forward.
England: Watson, May, Te'o, Farrell (capt), Daly, Ford, Care; M Vunipola, George, Cole, Launchbury, Itoje, Lawes, Robshaw, Hughes.
Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Marler, Sinckler, Haskell, Simmonds, Wigglesworth, Joseph, Brown.
France: Bonneval, Fall, Bastareaud, Doumayrou, Grosso, Trinh-Duc, Machenaud, Tauleigne, Camara, Lauret, Vahaamahina, Gabrillagues, Slimani, Guirado (capt), Poirot.
Replacements: Pelissie, Priso, Gomes, Taofifenua, Galletier, Couilloud, Beauxis, Fickou.
England NatWest 6 Nations fixtures and results:
Italy v England: 15-46
England v Wales: 12-6
Scotland v England: 25-13
France v England: 22-16
England v Ireland