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‘A different world’: Aussie 7s not losing sleep before Antoine Dupont clash

By Finn Morton
Antoine Dupont #25 of France watches the play from field side in their match against USA during day one of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series - Vancouver at BC Place on February 23, 2024 in Vancouver, British Columbia. France won 24-12. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

Antoine Dupont probably only played about eight minutes in total across two games on Day One at SVNS Vancouver but the Frenchman certainly stole the show with those brief appearances.


Dupont, 27, was the only substitute on the opening day that the ground announcer addressed by name, which prompted a deafening cheer from the thousands in attendance.

The former World Rugby 15s Player of the Year is the player that every fan wants to see this weekend, but Dupont’s upcoming opponents “won’t lose any sleep” thinking about Saturday.

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Australia, who were runners-up in both the Cape Town and Perth Cup finals, stand on the brink of elimination in Vancouver after two tough losses on Day One at BC Place Stadium.

The Aussies were swept off the park in a 31-7 drubbing by Samoa earlier on Friday, and a last-minute Perry Baker try saw USA sneak by with a thrilling 26-21 win in the evening.

SVNS Series veteran Henry Hutchison was asked about the threat that Dupont poses ahead of the upcoming must-win pool clash, but the Australian isn’t too focused on “the man.”

“Obviously we know Antoine’s here. He does fantastic things in the 15s game but it’s a different world the sevens world,” Hutchison told RugbyPass.


“We don’t focus on the man we focus on the team. He’s definitely improved their team but we’ll just tackle what’s coming at us.

“We’ll review them tonight and we’ll review them tomorrow morning and if he’s done anything super special we’ll probably make a note over it but we won’t lose any sleep thinking about it.”


France have been one of the form teams of SVNS Vancouver so far. Even with Dupont sitting on the sidelines for most of the time, Les Bleus Sevens have been frighteningly good.

After getting the better of the United States 24-12 in their first Pool B clash, France made it two-from-two with an emphatic 40-7 win over Samoa – the team that beat Australia.


“I’m expecting them to be red hot again,” Hutchison said.

“That’s our next job. We’re focusing on France and then wherever we fall after that will be what it’ll be.

“We’re expecting them to play as they’ve been playing. French flair’s alive this weekend.

“Tomorrow’s a new day and that’s the best thing about sevens, we probably get one more shot at it, one more roll of the dice and hopefully we get snake eyes and we go well.”

Australia are currently anchored to the bottom of Pool B with two wins from as many starts and a points difference of -29.

They’ll need to beat France, and by a fair margin, to put themselves in with a chance of progressing as one of the two best third-placed teams across the pools.

“Definitely a tough day at the office. That’s sevens, you can be at the top of the tournament last trip in Perth and now probably down near the bottom.


“I think today, we just didn’t turn up. Enthusiastic-wise we were a bit sloppy in the morning, we tried to rectify that against the USA today and thought we were reasonably good but we fell off at the very end.

“(Perry Baker has) been doing that for years. You think about how you can shut him down but he still managed to find a way.

“We were really disappointed but it’s a small step in our journey to Paris this year. We’ll learn from that, a few young boys will learn from their mistakes today and we’ll grow as a team.

“We’ll remember this feeling and we definitely don’t like it so we don’t want to be here again.”


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Poorfour 4 hours ago
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