England women remain on track for Slam

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The Independent Online

England's women matched their male counterparts in beating France to remain on course for the Grand Slam. A 16-3 victory at Worcester's Sixways Stadium yesterday sets up a sixth successive Six Nations title and back-to-back Slams.

Tries by hooker Amy Garnett and captain Katy McLean sealed the victory but they did not arrive until the closing quarter, when England finally turned their dominance into points.

England coach Gary Street, whose side is now the only unbeaten team in the tournament, said: "We were very sporadic today and we managed to squander quite a few opportunities. It was frustrating because we got ourselves into some good positions but we missed the opportunities.

"We lacked precision at times and that was disappointing. There's lots for us to work on but the important thing is that we are still on track," he added.

Meanwhile, New Zealand officials have conceded Christchurch may not be able to host Rugby World Cup matches following last week's catastrophic earthquake.

The city is scheduled to host seven World Cup matches in September, but its infrastructure and accommodation facilities were badly damaged by last Tuesday's quake, which has so far claimed the lives of 145 people.