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Antoine Dupont teams up with France Sevens for first time in training camp

By Josh Raisey
Toulouse's French scrum-half Antoine Dupont (C) listens to his coach's instructions during a training session of the French rugby seven team in Marcoussis, south of Paris, on January 3, 2024, as part of the team's preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Antoine Dupont has trained with France Sevens for the first time this week ahead of his switch to play in the Paris Olympic Games later this year.

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After missing Toulouse’s 29-8 loss to La Rochelle on Saturday in the Top 14, the France XVs captain linked up with his new teammates in Marcoussis for a four-day training camp running from January 2 to 5. However, as per his agreement with Toulouse, he will return to his club today in order to prepare for a visit from Lyon this weekend.

Dupont is gearing up to his debut on the sevens circuit next month at the Vancouver leg of the HSBC SVNS Series. Before then, France travel to Perth later this month for the third leg of the series, where they will hope to climb up from eighth in the rankings. The 27-year-old is also expected to take part in the Los Angeles SVNS in March, which is why he will take no part in the upcoming Guinness Six Nations.

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Footage has been shared on social media of Dupont training with the squad, where he was filmed being lifted to receive a kick-off, which is something he is unlikely to have experienced in XVs.

The Frenchman’s attention will switch back to XVs over the coming weeks though, where the reigning Top 14 champions will seek to work their way up the ladder from their current position of seventh against Lyon. Following that, there are tricky fixtures away to Ulster and at home to Bath in the Investec Champions Cup.

France’s 17-player squad: Esteban Capilla, Antoine Dupont, Nelson Epée, Aaron Grandidier-Nkanang, Nisie Huyard, William Iraguha, Jefferson-Lee Joseph, Jonathan Laugel, Thibaud Mazzoleni, Stephen Parez-Edo Martin, Varian Pasquet, Rayan Rebbadj, Paulin Riva, Jordan Sepho, Joris Simon, Joachim Trouabal, Antoine Zeghdar.

Watch footage of Dupont training with France Sevens:

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Jon 1 days ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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