Springboks lock Eben Etzebeth acknowledged the intense physicality experienced during Sunday’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final against France in Paris.

South Africa scored four tries to France’s two to win 29-28 – and secure a semi-final berth against England on Saturday.

“That’s right up there in my career – that was a brutal Test match. In the first couple of minutes they scored, then we scored and it went on like that – a one point game,” said Etzebeth.

“Obviously it is a relief inside me. The French must be heartbroken, so thoughts to them.

“We will celebrate and then prepare for the semi-final with England – it will be a massive game.”

The Springboks played with 14 men for 10 minutes on either side of half-time after Etzebeth received a yellow card.

“Bad luck – I never want to get a yellow in an intense game. I just wanted to give it my all and it was a massive team effort,” he added.

Hooker Mbongeni Mbonambi won the Player of the Match award.

New Zealand and Argentina will contest Friday’s first semi-final.

South Africa are the reigning Rugby World Cup champions. They beat England in the 2019 final.