Antoine Dupont, the captain of the French rugby team, is set to miss the upcoming Six Nations tournament as he shifts his focus to prepare for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. The news comes just a month after France’s disappointing exit from the World Cup.
The French rugby federation confirmed Dupont’s decision, revealing that the 27-year-old will be participating in legs of the World Rugby seven-a-side circuit, now known as SVNS, instead of the traditional Six Nations competition. Dupont will join France’s sevens squad in January and take part in events in Vancouver and Los Angeles in February and March.
This move by Dupont has been anticipated as the athlete expressed his enthusiasm for participating in the Olympics. He stated that it is highly motivating for him and he wants to put everything in place to be able to embrace this opportunity. The decision was announced a significant 250 days before the start of the Olympics, emphasizing Dupont’s dedication to his preparation.
Interestingly, the Stade de France, where Dupont and the French team suffered a devastating quarter-final defeat in the recent World Cup, will also be hosting the sevens competitions at the Olympics. This adds another layer of significance to Dupont’s decision as he will have the chance to compete on the same stage that holds bittersweet memories for him.
Dupont’s move to prioritize the Olympics over the Six Nations showcases the growing importance of the sevens format in the world of rugby. Notable players like Cheslin Kolbe and Sonny Bill Williams have previously participated in the Olympics, highlighting the appeal of the tournament to 15-a-side athletes.
As a result of Dupont’s absence, France head coach Fabien Galthie will need to name a new captain and starting scrum-half for the Six Nations. This presents an opportunity for other players to step up and make their mark on the international stage.
In conclusion, Antoine Dupont’s decision to miss the Six Nations in order to prepare for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris highlights his commitment to achieving success on a different stage. With his participation in the SVNS circuit, Dupont aims to bring his skill and determination to the sevens format, following the footsteps of other notable rugby players. As France prepares for the Six Nations, the team will have to find a new captain and starting scrum-half to fill the void left by Dupont’s absence.
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