France thrashes England in record 53-10 win in Six Nations

© Adrian Dennis, AFP

On one of the darkest days in English rugby history, France put on a clinic by running in seven tries in a record 53-10 humiliation of its cross-channel rival at Twickenham in the Six Nations on Saturday.

The win kept alive Les Tricolores' chances of retaining the title heading into the final round, but this was about much more than that.

England has never conceded so many points in a home test match, or in the tournament’s 140-year history. It was the team's third heaviest defeat ever, only surpassed by a 76-0 loss for a weakened touring lineup in Australia in 1998 and a 58-10 beating by South Africa in Bloemfontein in 2007.

It was comfortably France’s highest score and largest margin of victory in 110 meetings with England — the previous bests were in 1972 — and a stark illustration of the gulf in quality that has formed between traditional northern hemisphere powerhouses six months out from the Rugby World Cup.

“We got exposed today," said England coach Steve Borthwick, who replaced Eddie Jones in December and might already be out of his depth. "I thought we would get a measure of where we are at — there is a big gap between us and the top teams in the world.

"We understand where we are and what we have to do.”

“It was a very special game for us," Flament said. “We are in a good place, we know this tournament can be won on the last game.”

It just about summed up a miserable day for England.


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