Six Nations - Ireland clinch title with dramatic victory over France as O'Driscoll bows out

Six Nations, Stade de France - France 20 (Tries: Dulin 30, Szarzewski 62; Cons: Machenaud 31, 63; Pens: Machenaud 1, 14) Ireland 22 (Tries: Sexton 20, 46; Cons: Sexton 26, 47; Pens: Sexton 52)

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Six Nations - Ireland clinch title with dramatic victory over France as O'Driscoll bows out
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Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll celebrates victory with team-mates at the end of their Six Nations rugby union match at the Stade de France (Reuters)

Brian O'Driscoll got the perfect send-off when Ireland won the Six Nations championship with a 22-20 victory against France, their first at the Stade de France since the superstar centre made his championship debut in 2000.

Ireland, who clinched only their second title since 1985, controlled most of the game, once again exposing France's paper-thin defence as Les Bleus finished the tournament in fourth place.

England were second, on eight points but behind Ireland on points difference, after thrashing Italy 52-11 away earlier on Saturday. Outgoing champions Wales finished third on six points following their record 51-3 demolition of 14-man Scotland.

Flyhalf Jonathan Sexton scored two tries and kicked seven points as wing Andrew Trimble also touched down, while France's points came from Brice Dulin and Dimitri Szarzewski's tries and Maxime Machenaud's boot.

As the finish line beckoned, however, Ireland stopped playing and almost paid a fatal price when France scored a minute from time - only to have the ruled out for forward pass.

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