POPPY Cleall and England Women's hopes of retained their Six Nations title suffered a major blow, as they lost 18-17 in the top of the table clash with France in Grenoble.

Both teams came into the game off the back of perfect records having won three out of three and both having collected 15 points each.

Cleall from Alderholt collected cap number 21 in the match.

England opened the scoring by wing Abigail Dow as Les Bleus conceded a try for the first time in the tournament.

In front of an impassioned 17,440 crowd backing the hosts, France responded as Jessy Trémoulière went in out wide but she was unable add the conversion to her score.

Some French pressure before the break saw fly half Caroline Drouin cross as France took a 10-7 lead into half-time.

England's replied with a second try from a driving maul off a line out, as hooker Amy Cokayne dotted down from five metres out.

Frances full back Trémoulière knocked over a penalty to bring the game to within a point as England led 14-13 with 25 minutes to go.

However, despite a huge defensive effort from the Red Roses, as well as a Katy Daley-Mclean penalty, Trémoulière broke through with two minutes to go to snatch the victory by a point.

England's last game in the series is on Friday (5.30pm) against Ireland at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

6. Poppy Cleall (Saracens Women, 21 caps)

19. Rowena Burnfield (Richmond F.C, 46 caps)

England Women Six Nations 2018 playing schedule and results:

Italy 7 – 42 England

Tries: Bern, Cleall, Hunter (3), Kildunne, Dow

Cons: Daley- Mclean (2)

Pens: Daley-Mclean

England 52 – 0 Wales

Tries: Cleall (2), Dow, Riley, Kildunne (2), Burford, Packer

Cons: Daley-Mclean (5)

Scotland 8 - 43 England

Tries: Waterman (2), Bern, Pearce (2), Kildunne, Tuima

Cons: Daley-Mclean (4)

France 18 – 17 England

Tries: Dow, Cokayne

Cons: Katy Daley-Mclean

Pens: Katy Daley-Mclean