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A waxwork figure of Jonny Wilkinson stands upon the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square

Dawn breaks on the eve of the final to reveal a waxwork figure of Jonny Wilkinson upon a plinth in Trafalgar Square

Jonny Wilkinson practices in the Stade de France ahead of the final against South Africa

Meanwhile, in the Stade de France the lone figure of Wilkinson prepares for the final in his usual meticulous manner

Operatic quartet Blake get fans heading to Paris in the mood with a rendition of Swing Low Sweet Chariot at Waterloo Station

Operatic quartet Blake get fans in the mood with a rendition of Swing Low Sweet Chariot at Waterloo's Eurostar terminus

A giant England rugby shirt is transported along the River Seine

A huge England shirt winds its way along the River Seine in central Paris as the atmopshere builds in the French capital

England fans prepare to leave Waterloo

Back in London, England fans complete with berets and baguettes prepare for their journey under the Channel

A man sells England and South Africa merchandise in Paris

Merchandise for the final is already flooding Parisian streets with well over 24 hours remaining until kick-off

England coach Brian Ashton relaxes outside his Paris hotel

England coach Brian Ashton relaxes outside his Paris hotel ahead of his final press conference before the final

A fan holds aloft a sign asking for tickets

Ticketless fans already in Paris make every effort to get hold of any spare tickets outside the Gare du Nord

Phil Vickery chats to the large media contingent

Phil Vickery chats to the large media contingent gathered at the team's hotel as he prepares to lead England into the final

South Africa president Thabo Mbeki boards a flight from Johannesburg to Paris

South Africa president Thabo Mbeki boards a flight from Johannesburg as he heads to Paris for the final

Kit technician Dave Tennison prepares England's shirts

Kit technician Dave Tennison uses his hotel room to prepare the shirts that England's stars will wear in the final

Fans of both South Africa and England pour through Waterloo Station

Fancy dress is order of the day as fans of both South Africa and England pour through Waterloo on their way to France

One lucky fan displays his ticket for the final

One lucky fan displays his ticket for the final while others seem prepared to pay thousands of pounds to gain a seat

The South African team and staff pose for a photograph at the team hotel in Paris

The South African players and support staff take part in a group photo at the team's base in Paris

Fans are in high spirits as they flood into Gare du Nord in Paris

Fans are in high spirits as they flood into Gare du Nord in Paris with an evening of nervous tension ahead of them

French fan

Across the city, France and Argentina fans gather for the third-place play-off match

France v Argentina

But anyone thinking it is a meaningless match are wrong as the two teams tear into each other from kick-off

Felipe Contepomi

France begin at a million miles an hour but Argentina shock the hosts when Felipe Contepomi scores the first try

France captain Raphael Ibanez

Argentina lead 17-3 at the break and France skipper Raphael Ibanez is rattled - and sin-binned for illegal rucking

Argentina won 34-10 against France

The Pumas score three more times in the second half and end up convincing winners and third in the World Cup



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