KEIGHLEY prop James Whitcombe helped England's Under-20s to a dramatic 29-24 bonus-point victory over France in Grenoble, as they got their Six Nations campaign off to a great start.

England led 10-9 at the break through Rusiate Tuima’s try and five points from the boot of Josh Hodge, while Joris Moura kicked all of France’s points.

Second-half scores from Hodge and Tom Roebuck gave England a 24-12 lead but tries from Jordan Joseph and Ethan Dumortier levelled the game.

With just a minute left though, Richard Capstick bundled over after several phases to seal victory for England.

The visitors started well and Hodge sent over an early penalty, which Moura cancelled out inside 15 minutes.

Soon after, he put the hosts 6-3 ahead with a long-range penalty in a see-saw first half. England were then penalised for an indiscretion at the scrum and Maura land his third kick.

England bounced back immediately, Max Ojomoh jinking his way through before offloading to Tuima to power over. Hodge converted for a 10-9 lead.

Gabriel Hamer-Webb was soon sent to the sin bin though and Moura kicked France ahead.

England went back in front through Hodge, who collected the ball on halfway and seared through the France defence, before stepping inside the final man to cross.

Roebuck then collected a loose ball on halfway to run home unchallenged, with Manu Vunipola adding the extras.

Joseph bundled over from a five metre scrum to reduce the deficit, with Chiekh Tiberghien converting for 24-19.

England's Emmanuel Iyogun and France's Paul Mallez were sent to the sin bin as the closing stages became increasingly frantic and Dumortier was over in the corner to level with five minutes remaining.

But England had one score left in them though, and Capstick sealed the bonus point win late on.

Head coach Alan Dickens said afterwards: “We kept on fighting and got the win and that just shows how tight this group are. We knew we would get one more chance and they showed great composure to score it.

“This is such a new group, we had nine debutants on the field, so to come to France and defeat the double world U20 champions in front of a hostile crowd is a brilliant achievement and will hopefully play a crucial part in their development as future senior internationals.”

Dickens’ side will next take on Scotland at Myreside in Edinburgh on Friday, before a first home game against Ireland in Northampton at Franklin’s Gardens.