The power of England’s bench ensured there would be no first day disaster against the French at Twickenham.
Up against a resourceful, powerful and committed Les Blues, England needed all their resilience to earn a 19-16 victory and make it a 14th successive win under Eddie Jones.
It was not until replacements Jamie George, Matt Mullen, James Haskell and Ben Te’o emerged off the bench that England found the go forward they needed to steal in front decisively.
George through into the line-out perfectly, Mullen was excellent in close quarters, while one tremendous Haskell drive not only got his team over the gain line but got the crowd on its feet.
And the decisive moment came with less than 10 minutes to go when George Ford found Te’o perfectly and the Worcester man burst through the defence to score.
Owen Farrell kicked 11 and Elliot Daly a long-range effort for England, while Rabah Slimani scored a try and Camille Lopez kicked the rest of the points for France.
England make the trip to Cardiff next Saturday for what should be a belting occasion against Wales.