England crowned Six Nations champions as Scots beat France


Edinburgh (AFP)

England were crowned Six Nations champions on Sunday with a round to spare as Scotland beat France 29-18 in Edinburgh.

The English, who last won the Six Nations in 2011, opened their campaign with a 15-9 win over Scotland before thrashing Italy 40-9, seeing off Ireland 21-10 and edging Wales 25-21 on Saturday.

They will now aim for a first Grand Slam since their World Cup-winning year of 2003 -- when current coach Eddie Jones was coaching beaten finalists Australia -- with victory away to France on March 19.

In Edinburgh, Scotland's victory over France was their first in 10 years in a Six Nations match and the first time in three years that the Scots have produced back-to-back wins in the northern hemisphere's leading competition.

It sets them up for a trip to Dublin next week where victory should see them finish in the top half of the table

The Scots led 18-12 at half-time, Stuart Hogg and Duncan Taylor crossing for tries, skipper Greg Laidlaw booting one conversion and two penalties. France fired back with two of their own through Guilhem Guirado and Gael Fickou, Maxime Machenaud notching up one conversion.

Laidlaw and Machenaud traded penalties early in the second period before Tim Visser crossed for Scotland's third try. Laidlaw wrapped the game up with a fourth penalty, handing England the spoils of the Six Nations crown.