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Watch: Antoine Dupont makes highly anticipated SVNS Series debut

By Finn Morton
Antoine Dupont #25 and Aaron Grandidier Nkanang #9 of France run onto the pitch after a substitution 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)

It was a moment months in the making. Much to the delight of fans at Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium on Friday afternoon, Frenchman Antoine Dupont debuted on the SVNS Series.


As a mild chill continued to make its way through the Canadian venue, Dupont charged onto the field along with his new sevens teammates ahead of France’s clash with the United States of America.

But fans had to wait a little bit longer to see the former World Rugby Player of the Year in action. Dupont, who was wearing No. 25, started the match on the bench.

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Dupont, who captained France at last year’s 15-a-side Rugby World Cup on home soil, was later injected into the clash midway through the second term – and the fans loved it.


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The Vancouver crowd let out a near-deafening cheer as the superstar made his way towards the action along with teammate Aaron Grandidier Nkanang.

“Fans, please welcome to the HSBC SVNS pitch for the very first time,” the ground announcer said. “One of the very best to do it, the greatest male rugby player in the world, Antoine Dupont!”


Dupont’s first involvement was an attacking scrum inside the USA’s 22 metre line. Just like his role in XVs, the halfback was seen calling the shots before feeding the ball into the scrum.

France ended up beating the United States 24-12 as Jordan Sepho impressed with a try-scoring double going a long way to deciding the pool stage clash.

It’s the start of a rugby journey that Dupont no doubt hopes will end with an Olympic gold medal draped around his neck at Stade de France in July.


Dupont, 27, trained with his new teammates for the first time in Marcoussis in January before returning to club XVs duty with Toulouse.


Teammate Grandidier Nkanang told RugbyPass in Perth last month that France’s marquee recruit had to complete a “little initiation” after linking up with the group for the first time.

“It’s not anything particularly strange, it’s just 10 burpees,” Grandidier Nkanang said.

“He just did his burpees and we had him for the rest of the day.

“It was nice to get to meet him, to get to know him a bit better because obviously, I’ve only known him from the TV.

“I’m excited to see what he can bring to the team.”


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