Steve Borthwick's England suffered semi-final agony at the hands of South Africa in the Rugby World Cup.

Carlisle-born Borthwick's side led for much of the game in France.

But a late fightback by the reigning worlds champions delivered a devastating 16-15 defeat to England.

Handre Pollard's penalty with three minutes remaining gave South Africa the advantage.

News and Star: Handre Pollard's kicking proved decisive for the SpringboksHandre Pollard's kicking proved decisive for the Springboks (Image: PA)

It came minutes after RG Snyman's converted try had brought the Springboks back into the contest.

England, via four Owen Farrell penalties and a further drop goal from the captain had enabled Borthwick's side to get in sight of a famous victory.

Two Pollard penalties and a further penalty kick by Manie Libbok kept South Africa in it.

And their late exploits set up a final against New Zealand.

England, who had been unfancied heading into the tournament, must now prepare for a third-placed showdown against Argentina.

"Immense credit to South Africa," said Borthwick on ITV.

"From our point of view, we came into tonight and I thought we'd win the game.

"The players should be proud of their performance and the supporters in the ground, and watching at home, can be proud of their team."