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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 22:57 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:


Third-place play-off

It’s a special evening for Ben Youngs – England’s most-capped male player will get one final runout for his country to end a stellar international career.

One of rugby’s nicest men, as well as one hell of a scrum half, he deserves this send-off in Paris.

Luke Baker27 October 2023 19:35

Michael Cheika uncertain of future as Argentina face England in bronze medal match

It was thought that Michael Cheika would be departing Argentina after this tournament, but the head coach’s comments this week suggest that he may yet retain the role.

“I have no idea if it is my last game and I don’t think about it,” Cheika said on Thursday. “We have a team of players, coaches and with the UAR (Argentine Rugby Union) we have a very good relationship. We only talk about the game, not about personal feelings. The focus is on the match and seeing how we finish higher in this Rugby World Cup.”

Harry Latham-Coyle27 October 2023 19:22

Please abolish the third-place play-off: Rugby’s pointless and outdated relic

It’s the game that players don’t want to play, fans don’t want to watch and the media don’t want to cover. All of which begs the question, why does the Rugby World Cup third/fourth place play-off still exist? Answers on a postcard please.

Actually, the answer is fairly simple, of course. It follows the old adage that when you’re not sure why something counter-intuitive is happening in sport, the reason is always the same. Money.

World Rugby and its sponsors will undoubtedly make a bit more cheddar from England facing Argentina tonight at relatively little expense, although it remains to be seen how many of the Stade de France’s 80,000 seats are filled, let alone what sort of atmosphere those in attendance tonight. You suspect it might not quite reach the level of fan delirium that some of the other instant classics at the Paris stadium have generated during this tournament.

Please abolish the third-place play-off: Rugby’s pointless and outdated relic

The ‘bronze final’ at a Rugby World Cup is an outdated concept that no one wants to be involved with and hopefully England and Argentina are contesting the last one on Friday evening

Luke Baker27 October 2023 19:16

England and Argentina target perfect swansong in Rugby World Cup game nobody wants to play

Of the many ways that one could spend a Friday evening in Paris, competing in a third-place play-off would rank somewhere near the bottom, perhaps just above a night-time stumble into a particularly nasty section of the Seine. However much World Rugby dresses up what it insists on calling the bronze final, there is no escaping the fact that most players would, at this stage, rather be back at home with a bottle of beer, or enjoying some downtime with a verre de vin rouge in a Paris bistro.

“This is not the game you want to be playing in,” England assistant Richard Wigglesworth conceded this week. “You can be honest and say this isn’t the game that these two teams aimed to play in.”

England and Argentina target perfect swansong in game nobody wants to play

England and Argentina battle for bronze a week on from semi-final disappointment

Harry Latham-Coyle27 October 2023 19:12

Team news - Argentina

Juan Cruz Mallia; Emiliano Boffelli, Lucio Cinti, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Mateo Carreras; Santiago Carreras, Tomas Cubelli; Thomas Gallo, Julian Montoya (captain), Francisco Gómez Kodela; Guido Petti Pagadizabal, Pedro Rubiolo; Juan Martin Gonzalez, Marcos Kremer, Facundo Isa

Replacements: Agustín Creevy, Joel Sclavi, Eduardo Bello, Matias Alemanno, Rodrigo Bruni, Lautaro Bazan Velez, Nicolás Sánchez, Matías Moroni.

Michael Cheika keeps the faith as he aims to end Argentina tenure on a high

Los Pumas take on England in the Rugby World Cup bronze final on Friday evening before Cheika leaves his role as head coach

Harry Latham-Coyle27 October 2023 19:07

Team news - England

Marcus Smith; Freddie Steward, Joe Marchant, Manu Tuilagi, Henry Arundell; Owen Farrell (captain), Ben Youngs; Ellis Genge, Theo Dan, Will Stuart; Maro Itoje, Ollie Chessum; Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Ben Earl

Replacements: Jamie George, Bevan Rodd, Dan Cole, David Ribbans, Lewis Ludlam, Danny Care, George Ford, Ollie Lawrence

Tom Curry starts as England reveal team to face Argentina

The flanker has received abuse after making an allegation that South Africa hooker Bongi Mbonambi used a racial slur against him in England’s semi-final defeat

Harry Latham-Coyle27 October 2023 19:02

Bundee Aki and Antoine Dupont among nominees for World Rugby Men’s Player of the Year

Ireland centre Bundee Aki and France scrum half Antoine Dupont are among four nominees for World Rugby Men’s Player of the Year despite their nations’ early exits from the Rugby World Cup.

Aki and Dupont join South Africa’s Eben Etzebeth and New Zealand’s Ardie Savea, who will feature in Saturday’s final at the Stade de France, on a four-man shortlist.

Eleven World Rugby awards will be handed out on Sunday night at a ceremony at the Opera Garnier in Paris, but the nominees and winners in a further four women’s categories will be announced and celebrated separately after the conclusion of WXV.

Savea is one of nine nominations from New Zealand across six categories for which shortlists have been unveiled.

Bundee Aki and Antoine Dupont among nominees for World Rugby Men’s Player of the Year

Eben Etzebeth and Ardie Savea also feature on a four-player shortlist

Harry Latham-Coyle27 October 2023 18:55

Steve Borthwick grows and Ben Earl stars as England defy World Cup expectations

England went within a whisker of qualifying for a second successive World Cup final only for South Africa’s Handre Pollard to shatter their dreams with a 79th-minute penalty.

The nail-biting 16-15 semi-final defeat which Steve Borthwick’s men led by nine points with 10 minutes remaining completed a tournament that surpassed expectations given their abysmal build-up.

Here, the PA news agency takes a closer look at a campaign concluded by the bronze final tonight.

Steve Borthwick grows and Ben Earl stars as England defy World Cup expectations

Until they hit a Springbok-shaped roadblock, England were the only semi-final side with an unbeaten record.

Harry Latham-Coyle27 October 2023 18:50

Stuart Hogg column

And our columnist Stuart Hogg has had an in-depth look at why New Zealand’s wing double-act are so good, with particular praise for Will Jordan, who could become the first men’s player to score more than eight tries in a World Cup if he dots down tomorrow.

The former Scotland full-back has also picked his team of the tournament - with some bold calls...

Stuart Hogg: All Blacks wingers can win final, plus my team of the World Cup

In his final Rugby World Cup column for The Independent, Scotland legend Stuart Hogg reveals why All Blacks wing Will Jordan had him worried for his career and names his team of the tournament ahead of the New Zealand v South Africa final in Paris

Harry Latham-Coyle27 October 2023 18:42

World Cup final

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster very nearly lost his job last year, battling back from the brink to guide New Zealand into a World Cup final. Here’s how he did it:

The bold calls that saved Ian Foster and took All Blacks to brink of glory

Known as ‘Foz’ by his New Zealand players, a heroic win in South Africa last year stopped a horrendous run after five losses in six games. Now, as Harry Latham-Coyle details, the 58-year-old stands one win away from joining the illustrious company of Graham Henry and Steve Hansen as World Cup-winning head coaches

Harry Latham-Coyle27 October 2023 18:37

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