Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Antoine Dupont could sideline the French XV after the failed World Cup

Captain of the XV of France, Antoine Dupont experienced many emotions during the Rugby World Cup. Having had a very good start to the competition, the Stade Toulousain player was injured during the 3rd group match against Namibia on September 21. Victim of a maxillo-zygomatic fracture following head-to-head contact, Antoine Dupont clearly thought that his World Cup was over. “At the time I didn’t know the seriousness of my injury, I thought that the competition was over for me,” explained the French captain at a press conference before the quarter-final against South Africa.

He will finally be back on the field during the match against the Springboks on Sunday October 22, a few weeks after the operation and with the approval of the surgeon who forced him to wear a helmet. And Antoine Dupont was heartbroken, like all the players and staff of the France team, by losing to the world champions, this time putting an end to the World Cup adventure.

Once the emotion has passed, we must now turn to the future and a question arises… When will we see Antoine Dupont again with the XV of France? Maybe not before the end of 2024 and maybe even 2025! For several years, the Frenchman has always proclaimed his desire to compete in the Olympic Games in Paris. If rugby 15 is not an Olympic discipline, rugby 7 is one and France can claim a medal, with or without Antoine Dupont.

If the Stade Toulousain player wants to compete in the Olympics, he will have to comply with the schedule of the French 7-a-side team to learn the automatisms. This decision belongs to him, according to the words of its president Didier Lacroix. “Antoine Dupont has a gigantic appetite. He has been talking about the desire to play in the Olympics for months. (…) We have very clearly defined the contours of what his presence could be. (…) .) The main actor is Antoine Dupont. The trigger is Antoine Dupont. And he doesn’t want to reveal himself before the World Cup. We prepared everything, at all levels. But the The decision is his.”

Absent from the 2024 6 Nations Tournament?

The participation of Antoine Dupont in the Paris Olympics would therefore have consequences on his involvement with Toulouse but also with the French XV, since the captain of the Blues could participate in two stages of the world Rugby Sevens circuit, those of Vancouver (23- February 25) and Los Angeles (March 2-3), scheduled right during the VI Nations Tournament. He would then miss a few matches or the entire tournament, but not serious according to the leaders of French rugby, ready to make this concession. “Yes, you have to know how to make this arbitration,” decided the president of the federation Florian Grill recently.


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