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France name Antoine Dupont as stand-in captain

By Paul Smith
Antoine Dupont. (Photo by Lorenzo Di Cola/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Antoine Dupont will captain France during next month’s Autumn International Series the French Rugby Federation has announced.


Dupont stands in for France’s usual captain, back-rower Charles Ollivon, who is expected to be on the sidelines until next year with a serious knee injury.

The 24-year-old Toulouse scrum half, who is considered one of the world’s leading players, has over the last two years produced a string of stand-out performances. As a result he was named as player-of-the-tournament at the conclusion of the 2020 Six Nations.

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An All Black, a France squad and a disappearing act
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An All Black, a France squad and a disappearing act

The no.9 reportedly won the role ahead of domestic team-mate and childhood friend Anthony Jelonch and his Toulouse captain Julien Marchand. Racing 92 centre Gael Fickou and La Rochelle’s No. 8 Gregory Alldritt are also believed to have been considered for the position.

Les Bleus’ new captain has made 32 test appearances since making his international debut as a 20-year-old in 2017.

He has plenty of domestic experience having featured 61 times for Castres before making the short journey to join their Top 14 rivals Toulouse in 2017.


Another Toulouse player, prop Dorian Aldegheri, has been named to replace La Rochelle’s Uini Atonio in the squad after the giant tight-head withdrew due to injury.

Atonio, 31, suffered a muscle injury and as a result was replaced after an hour of his club’s Top 14 victory over Toulon on Sunday.

The 28-year-old Aldegheri faces stiff competition from Lyon’s experienced Demba Bamba and Castres’ Wilfrid Hounkpatin for a starting berth in the French front row.

Les Bleus host Argentina on November 6, Georgia eight days later and New Zealand on November 20.


Fabien Galthie’s squad met up at their training base on Sunday and will miss their club games next weekend.

France finished as runners-up in the 2021 Six Nations winning three of their five matches but suffering an unexpected round three 23-27 home defeat at the hands of Scotland which scuppered their title hopes.



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