England beat Argentina to take third place at the Rugby World Cup ©Getty Images

England have beaten Argentina 26-23 in the Rugby World Cup bronze final in Paris after a match that featured flashes of brilliance from both sides.

England made a blistering start at the Stade de France and found themselves up by 13 points in as many minutes.

Fly-half Owen Farrell fired Steve Borthwick's side in front early on with clean penalty kick from the left side of the pitch.

Ben Earl then burst through the Argentine line after a quick Marcus Smith touch unleashed him before Farrell dissected the posts again for the conversion.

Farrell struck once again with a penalty for three points making it 13-0.

After a tough 11-minute period, the Pumas finally got off the mark courtesy of Emiliano Boffelli's penalty strike.

His score was cancelled out not long after by another Farrell shot but a break from Juan Cruz Mallía set up a Tomás Cubelli try, as the first half ended with England up 16-10.

Theo Dan scored a pivotal try after charging down a Santiago Carreras kick ©Getty Images
Theo Dan scored a pivotal try after charging down a Santiago Carreras kick ©Getty Images

After the restart, a stunning burst of pace from Santiago Carreras created a brilliant try to give Argentina the lead for the first time.

It was short lived, however, as Theo Dan, who missed a tackle on Carreras moments earlier, charged his kick down to go over and take back control for England.

Boffelli and Farrell traded penalties to make it 26-20 before Nicolás Sánchez took over kicking duties.

The veteran fly-half slotted one in the 68th minute but squandered the chance to draw the sides level with five minutes to go. 

Argentina would not get another chance and the final score stood at 26-23 to end a thriller in Paris.

The result marks the first time England have finished third in the World Cup.

Their only other appearance in the bronze final ended in a 19-9 defeat to France.

The action will return tomorrow to the same venue for the showpiece fixture as New Zealand take on South Africa in the final.