England through to Rugby World Cup semi-finals after victory over Fiji in Marseille

England's Manu Tuilagi celebrates after the Rugby World Cup 2023 quarter-final match. Credit: PA

England have beaten Fiji 30-24 in their World Cup quarter-final at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, France.

England appeared to be cruising into the next round when they led 24-10 heading into the final quarter thanks to tries by Manu Tuilagi and Joe Marchant, and Owen Farrell’s pinpoint kicking at Stade Velodrome.

But their foundations shook when Peni Ravai went over in the 65th minute and a nerve-jangling finish beckoned as Vilimoni Botitu crossed to level the score soon after.

Farrell landed a drop-goal to usher in the unbearably tense closing minutes and with Fiji throwing everything at them.

Farrell landed his fifth penalty and despite one final assault from the Islanders, the white wall held firm to secure a semi-final against either France or South Africa.

England are the only home union side to reach the last four following the demise of Wales and Ireland in this weekend’s quarter-finals.

England's Marcus Smith reacts after the Rugby World Cup 2023 quarter-final match. Credit: PA

The result avenged their first ever loss to Fiji in August and by reaching the penultimate stage of the World Cup they have surpassed expectations given they entered the tournament on the back of five defeats in six Tests.

The Princess of Wales watched from the stands as England secured their place.

Her visit to France comes after Prince George travelled to Marseille on Saturday with his father, the Prince of Wales, to cheer on Wales, but saw the team’s dream of World Cup victory come to an end with defeat by Argentina.

The Princess of Wales was in the stands with World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont Credit: Mike Egerton/PA

Kate was greeted by RFU president Rob Briers, and World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont, before being shown to her seat in the presidential box at Marseille’s Stade Velodrome.

She asked Sir Bill if he was “still surviving” after all the games so far to which he replied “Absolutely” adding that it had been “brilliant” and he had seen 18 matches.

Sir Bill then asked if George had enjoyed the match on Saturday to which she replied: “He did, he loved it so much.”

Kate, the patron of the Rugby Football Union, also attended England’s opening match of the tournament in September when they beat Argentina.

Ten-year-old George joined his father at the Stade de Marseille for the first international sporting fixture he has watched in person overseas.

England finished on the top of their pool, winning all four of their games, while Fiji finished second in their pool, beating Australia and Georgia, but narrowly losing to Wales and Portugal.

Fiji beat England in late August 30-22 at Twickenham in August in a warm-up game for the tournament.

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