England have won the 2020 Guinness Six Nations after a memorable Super Saturday.
A bonus point win over Italy in the second game of the day took Eddie Jones’ side to the summit and they stayed there on points difference after France, needing to win by a 31-point margin, beat Ireland 35-27 in Paris.
France finish in second place ahead of Ireland in third and fourth-placed Scotland. Wales end the Championship in fifth, with Italy in sixth.
It is England’s first Championship crown since 2017 and the third time they have won the title in Jones’ tenure.
England captain Owen Farrell said: “It feels like we are just getting started. We have four new caps today, someone who has 100 caps in Ben (Youngs), and another who has his 50th in Jamie (George).
“We feel we have a brilliant blend of youth and experience to drive us forward. We are looking forward to what’s in front of us.”
England’s bid for the title didn’t start in perfect fashion, losing 24-17 to France way back in February despite a second-half double from Jonny May.
But they were to be victorious in every game thereon, becoming the third side – after France in 2006 and Wales in 2013 – to win the Guinness Six Nations having lost their opening match of the Championship.
First came a 13-6 win over Scotland, defying tough conditions at BT Murrayfield to win the Calcutta Cup with Ellis Genge scoring the only try of the game ten minutes from time.
Two weeks later and they were at Twickenham for the first time, marking their homecoming in victorious fashion with a 24-12 win over Ireland. George Ford, Elliot Daly and Luke Cowan-Dickie were the men to cross in that one.
Come March and Eddie Jones’ side had found form but they needed their wits about them to beat Wales, prevailing 33-30 to keep themselves in contention for the Championship prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
They were finally able to return to action seven months later but it proved a victorious one, getting the better of Italy despite not playing their best rugby for the 80 minutes.
“I’m very proud of all the players and staff,” Jones said.
“They’ve reacted superbly to the changing situations in the past couple of weeks and remained focused on the goal of winning the Guinness Six Nations.
“We’d also like to thank all our supporters. It’s strange not having fans in the stadium and we know it is a tough time for the country but we felt your support throughout the campaign and it does make a difference.
“Hopefully we can continue to deliver more good moments for our fans in the coming weeks.”