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England v Argentina LIVE: Result and reaction as England win Rugby World Cup 2023 third place play-off

England 26-23 Argentina: Tries from Ben Earl and Theo Dan help England finish third at the Rugby World Cup

Luke Baker
at the Stade de France
Friday 27 October 2023 23:10 BST
South Africa pulls off great escape to beat England and make Rugby World Cup final

England held off a spirited Argentina 26-23 at the Stade de France to take third place at the Rugby World Cup for a measure of consolation after the disappointment of their narrow semi-final defeat last week.

The boot of Owen Farrell proved the difference as both sides scored two tries apiece but the England captain was unerringly accurate as he put over four penalties and two conversions, for a tally of 16 points, to ensure his team edged a largely pointless exercise.

England looked to put behind them the disappointment of their 16-15 loss to South Africa in last Saturday’s semi in Paris as they raced into a 13-point lead and were 16-10 ahead at half-time but they allowed Argentina to close the gap to three points in an error-strewn second half.

It was the first time England had taken the bronze medal at the World Cup after winning the 2003 tournament and finishing runners-up on three other occasions.

Relive all the action from the bronze final below plus get all the latest odds and tips from the Rugby World Cup here:


England captain Owen Farrell on the England victory

Speaking on ITV, Farrell said: “I am proud. I thought we started really well. It was a scrappy game after that. The back of another six-day turnaround and a narrow loss last week, it was great to win tonight.

“You have to be able to play rugby a few ways and we are developing that and hopefully it will keep improving. I know we will improve. But proud of the effort the lads have put in.”

Luke Baker27 October 2023 23:10

Next generation produce mixed bag as England claim World Cup bronze

If this was a glimpse of England’s future then it rather resembles their past. Steve Borthwick’s squad will leave France with bits of bronze in their pockets, outlasting Argentina in an entertaining affair to decide third spot despite threatening a familiar fourth quarter fade to defeat.

The England players slapped shoulders and shared hugs, happy enough with a World Cup medal of any kind at the end of a long and rigorous tournament. Perhaps this was always the likeliest summit, a short three steps up on to a rapidly-erected rostrum to collect their decoration and reflect on some progress made.

This was something of a changing of the guard for England, bidding adieu to Ben Youngs, Courtney Lawes and a couple of others marking Test farewells, while also looking at the core coming through to lead Borthwick’s side into the next cycle.

Seven of England’s starting XV here were 25 or under, a young nucleus around which Borthwick will now look to build. They will head home with bronze medals, a fair enough achievement for a group of players who would have recognised overall triumph was always unlikely, much as they rose to the challenge impressively last weekend.

Read Harry Latham-Coyle’s full report from Paris:

Next generation produce mixed bag as England claim World Cup bronze

England 26-23 Argentina: England emerged victorious from an entertaining encounter in Paris with the Pumas to secure third place

Luke Baker27 October 2023 22:57

Theo Dan discusses the bronze final

England hooker Theo Dan had a dramatic game, missing a tackle for Santiago Carreras’s try and then going up the other end, blocking Carreras’s kick and scoring a try himself.

He was speaking to ITV after the game and said: “Obviously we made it hard for ourselves, we got off to a good start and we know Argentina are a team that are never going away. Ill-discipline let them back into the game. I am very proud of this team and proud to get bronze.”

On missing a tackle and then scoring: “Bit of a rollercoaster! I missed the tackle and then went straight to scoring a try, going under the sticks. A rollercoaster few minutes but very pleased with the performance.”

“The Six Nations is something we spoke about in the group. We are still heartbroken from last weekend. The performance was something we were proud of and we want to build momentum and grind out a result, today we achieved that.”

Luke Baker27 October 2023 22:52

Ben Youngs reflects on final game

England scrum half Ben Youngs spoke to ITV after the game as he prepares to ride off into the sunset, retiring from international rugby following this tournament.

“I am delighted for the boys we got the result. It was a huge effort last week and then we were fast out of the blocks, we found a rhythm and found a way. We are pleased to end with a win. We wanted to be here tomorrow night, but it is still a nice win tonight.

“The game [of rugby] has given me so much. I have got huge friendships and bonds not just in this England team, but people I have played against for years.

“I have a bucket-load of memories and I am very grateful, so thank you everyone. I will have a beer and enjoy myself with the boys tonight.”

Luke Baker27 October 2023 22:38

FULL-TIME! England 26-23 Argentina

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont handing out the bronze medals to the England team as they file across the stage. ‘World in Union’ echoing round a rapidly-emptying Stade de France - what a visceral thrill.

Beaumont stops Ben Youngs for a longer chat. He’s retiring from international rugby after this tournament.

Luke Baker27 October 2023 22:13

FULL-TIME! England 26-23 Argentina

Here were the tries from that game for your enjoyment

Luke Baker27 October 2023 22:08

FULL-TIME! England 26-23 Argentina

Oh my word. There’s a stage being erected on the Stade de France pitch. Surely we’re not actually going to present England with bronze medals, are we?

I mean... Nobody wants that, right?

Luke Baker27 October 2023 22:01

FULL-TIME! England 26-23 Argentina

Ball booted into the stands and it’s all over! England cling on for a 26-23 victory and win the bronze final.

What a time to be alive.

Luke Baker27 October 2023 21:57

England 26-23 Argentina, 80 mins

Argentina get desperate, give away the penalty and this will be it!

Luke Baker27 October 2023 21:57

England 26-23 Argentina, 79 mins

Argentina push from the scrum but Earl picks up at the back and runs down the side to salvage the situation.

England stay tight for a couple of phases, trying to eat up clock...

Luke Baker27 October 2023 21:56

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