Marlie Packer scores the crucial try as England Women edge out France
Marlie Packer's late try ensured England Women made a winning start to the Old Mutual Wealth Series with a 10-5 victory over France.
The first half was a nervy affair with both teams guilty of several handling errors. It was from such a mistake that England took the lead after 22 minutes as French fly-half Christelle le Duff spilled Katy McLean's kick into touch and from the resulting line out Amy Cokayne went over.
However, Le Duff made amends seven minutes from time by scoring the try to bring France level. It looked like it would be enough for a draw but Camille Grassineau was sent to the sin-bin shortly afterwards for tripping Fiona Pocock and England took advantage.
McLean sent a kick deep into the France 22 and from the resulting line out the England pack out-powered France and Packer dived across the line to give the Red Roses their first win against France in England since 2013.
During Wednesday night's game prop Rochelle Clark matched Jason Leonard's England record of 114 caps after she came on as a 56th-minute substitute for Vickii Cornborough.
Clark will equal Donna Kennedy's all-time international record of 115 caps if she appears in Sunday's game against Ireland.
England travel to Dublin before taking on New Zealand and Canada in the remainder of the Old Mutual Wealth Series.