Antoine Dupont (file pic). Alamy Stock Photo

Dupont confident France will 'bounce back' after Ireland humbling

The regular captain is missing for the tournament as he joins up with the seven-a-side squad before this summer’s Olympic Games.

SCRUM-HALF Antoine Dupont said on Saturday he thinks France will react positively after the heavy opening Six Nations defeat to Ireland.

Regular captain Dupont is missing for the tournament as he joins up with France’s seven-a-side squad before this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris.

Friday’s 38-17 loss in Marseille left Les Bleus’ title hopes already hanging by a thread ahead of their trip to Scotland net week.

“It was hard to see France in such difficulty,” Dupont told Canal+.

“It was a step too much, we threw too many spanners in the works.”

“I’m not worried for the boys, they’re a squad with character and ambition and I’m sure they’ll bounce back for the next match in Scotland,” he added.

Dupont has become very influential within the France set-up since his Test debut in 2017 and led the side to a disappointing Rugby World Cup quarter-final exit to eventual winners South Africa on home soil last year.

Former World Rugby player of the year Dupont played his final 15-a-side game for more than a month on Saturday before starting his Olympics preparation.

He is set to take part in the Vancouver (February 23-25) and Los Angeles (March 2-3) legs of the World Rugby SVNS circuit over the coming weeks with the men’s sevens event at the Olympics taking place at the end of July.

“There’s a lot of excitement, a bit of worry too,” Dupont said after Toulouse’s league 46-26 win over Bayonne.

“It’s a really motivating challenge which I will approach in a studious way to learn first up and then quickly perform well,” the 52-time capped international added.

– © AFP 2024

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