England end their 2023 Rugby World Cup campaign this Friday evening, as they take on Argentina in the Third Place Play-Off match.
This match will mark the end of the international career for England vice-captain Courtney Lawes, with several other stalwarts also reportedly looking towards the end of their time in the red rose.
Steve Borthwick’s side will look to finish their time in France as they began, having started their tournament off with a 27-10 win over Los Pumas in Pool D. The sharpshooting of George Ford was the decisive difference in Marseille, as the fly half slotted each and every one of England’s points from the boot.
This magnificent performance saw Ford heralded as ‘Saint George’, as he channelled his inner Jonny Wilkinson with a trifecta of drop goals. From then on, England completed a clean sweep of their pool stage opponents, with wins over Japan, Chile and Samoa. A bruising contest followed in their quarter-final win against Fiji, but their semi-final test proved to be a step to far.
Despite leading the match for 69 minutes, England fell at the final hurdle against the Springboks. South Africa forged a late comeback through an RG Snyman try, with Handre Pollard slotting the match-winning penalty through the posts. Heartbreak for England with the 16-15 loss, but their campaign is not yet finished as bronze medals await.
Argentina progressed out of Pool D with England, and hit their revered top gear in a quarter-final victory over Wales. They then sunk back into their shells, as a relentless All Blacks side ran riot with a 44-7 semi-final thrashing. New Zealand and South Africa meet in Saturday’s competition closer, but England and Argentina are the supporting act on Friday night in Paris.
So, ahead of this Friday’s Rugby World Cup Third-Place Play Off, here are the five best previous meetings between England and Argentina.
England 29 – 30 Argentina: 2022 Autumn Nations Series
November 6th 2022 – Twickenham Stadium, London
We commence this reverse-chronological list with the most recent encounter between England and Argentina. Taking place in last year’s Autumn Internationals, Argentina headed to Twickenham riding a wave of inspired form. The 2022 Rugby Championship took place earlier that Summer, and saw Los Pumas record two historic wins over Australia and New Zealand.
Argentina’s 48-17 bonus point win over the Wallabies was their biggest in history, and the following weekend’s 18-25 away triumph over the All Blacks was Argentina’s first on New Zealand soil. Dedicated Northern Hemisphere fans would have been shocked to see Argentina clinch victory against England that Autumn, yet even those with a fleeting interest in Southern Hemisphere action knew they were in for a battle against the All Blacks beating Pumas.
Head Coach Michael Cheika orchestrated a masterful gameplan, instructing Emiliano Boffelli to go kick-for-kick with England’s Owen Farrell. Despite the high score-line, this match was far from a spectacle, with just three tries seeing the remaining match dissolve into an ill-disciplined kicking contest. Despite the try-scoring efforts of England’s Jack van Poortvliet and Joe Cokanasiga, Boffelli’s try and subsequent sharpshooting kept the score-board ticking over for Argentina’s first win at Twickenham in 18 years.