England U20 were beaten 31-12 by France Women U20 in Strasbourg.
In a tough first half, England conceded the first try after two minutes and were 24-0 down at the break as France ran in four tries.
After conceding a fifth score, Jo Yapp's side rallied and got on the scoreboard through flanker Amelia Harper and Anya Richmond.
This was the first of a two-game series against France with the second game taking place next Saturday at Newbury RFC.
On the game, head coach Jo Yapp said: "As expected it was a really tough and physical encounter. The first half we struggled to contain the French offloading game. But after being 24 points down at half we were proud of the character such a young group of players showed to step up and win the second half. These test games are all about the players developing to make that step up to senior rugby and they will of learnt loads from tonight's game."
Thomas DARRACQ (Manager France under 20 years old): "We are very happy with this victory. The girls performed very well and played with a lot of ferocity, associated with tries marked with good handling and footwork. It's a beautiful day for French women's rugby!"
FRANCE: Boulard - Buisson, Rufas (cape), Bergeron, Castel - (o) Arbez, (m) Foure - Berthoumieu, Cissokho, Escudero - Sylla, Feleu - Jacquot, Lespielle, Brozda
Substitutes: Bernard, Klein, Pujol, Cheze, Carpentier, Gaudin, Puech, Muller
England: 15. Carys Cox, 14. Merryn Doidge, 13. Pheobe Murray, 12. Megan Varley, 11. Cara Clarke, 10. Ellie Green, 9. Megan Davey; 1. Akina Gondwe; 2. Bryony Field, 3. Detysha Harper, 4. Iona Antwis, 5. Hollie Cunningham, 6. Cara Brincat, 7. Amelia Harper, 8. Anya Richmon.
Replacements: 16. Charlie Budge, 17. Lauren Leatherhead, 18. Jessica Thomas, 19. Maud Muir, 20. Eleanor Febrey, 21. Jodie Mallard, 22. Lucie Skuse, 23. Emma Sing.
France: 5 tries Cissokho (2), Boulard (19), Bergeron (27), Rufas (36), Arbez (62), 3 Conversions Arbez (3, 37, 63)
England: 2 tries Harper (67), Richmond (73), 1 Conversion Sing (74)