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Dupont departs for 7s ahead of the 2024 Olympics

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Wednesday Jan 3, 2024

French rugby captain Antoine Dupont is set to embark on a new sporting journey as he prepares for the Paris Olympics sevens event.

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The French Rugby Federation recently confirmed that Dupont, along with 16 other players, will commence their preparatory day at the national Marcoussis Centre today (Wednesday, January 3rd).

This training regimen is in anticipation of two significant World Circuit SVNS events scheduled for February in Vancouver and March in Los Angeles, leading up to the Olympics commencing on July 26.

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The decision for Dupont’s foray into sevens rugby was unveiled in mid-November, jointly announced by his club, Toulouse, the French Rugby Federation, and the player himself. Dupont celebrated as French rugby’s poster boy, clinched the prestigious title of World Rugby Player of the Year in 2021 and played a pivotal role in securing the Six Nations Grand Slam and, to date, has gone on to make 52 Test appearances.

In expressing his enthusiasm for the upcoming Olympic challenge, Dupont remarked, “For all sports fans, the Olympic Games are mythical.” He emphasized the significance of hosting such a major sporting event in France, envisioning it as an “incredible party.” His decision to skip the upcoming Six Nations is a strategic move to focus on preparing for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The men’s sevens rugby at the Olympics will unfold at the iconic Stade de France, less than a year after France’s disappointing exit from the 15-a-side World Cup in the same stadium against South Africa. Dupont follows other notable 15s players, including Springbok winger Cheslin Kolbe and former All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams, in participating in the Olympics, showcasing the sport’s global appeal.

Arguably, the odds on favourites to win the Olympics are Fiji, who have been dominant in sevens since its Olympic inception and has secured two consecutive gold medals.

As Dupont embraces the challenge of sevens rugby, parallel enthusiasm comes from his football counterpart, Paris Saint-Germain and France superstar Kylian Mbappe, who is also eager to partake in the Games on home soil.

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