Will Antoine Dupont Prioritize the Olympic Tournament over the 6 Nations Tournament?
Free to Make His Own Choices
Antoine Dupont, the captain of the Blues and the XV of France, is facing a crucial decision. He has been offered the opportunity to participate in the Olympic Games this summer with the French rugby sevens team. However, the demands of the sevens format are vastly different from those of the 6 Nations Tournament.
To prepare himself adequately for the Olympics, Dupont had planned to take part in several World Series tournaments, including those in Los Angeles, Vancouver, Hong Kong, and Toulouse. These commitments raise doubts about his availability for the 6 Nations Tournament, which spans from February 2 to March 16.
During an interview on RMC’s Super Moscato Show, Fabien Galthié, the coach of the French rugby team, revealed that the final decision rests with Dupont. Galthié stated, “We spoke with Antoine last week, after his vacation. He didn’t inform me about his decision regarding the Olympics. In my opinion, he will make the right decision at the appropriate time. It’s up to Antoine Dupont, in collaboration with the technical management of rugby sevens, the French rugby team, and Stade Toulousain, to make the choice.”
“The Players Have the Freedom to Decide”
Being selected for the French team is a privilege that only a few players enjoy. It is an invitation that is rarely declined, and Dupont is no exception. However, Galthié emphasized that the players have the freedom to accept or refuse the invitation to represent their country. He also mentioned that some former members of the XV of France had declined selection after enduring arduous careers.
Galthié stated, “If Dupont decides not to participate in the Six Nations Tournament, we will respect his decision. Rule 9 states that players should come when summoned, but we have operated differently in the past four years. The players have the right to decline. At the beginning of my tenure, four or five players expressed their preference not to come, as they had suffered greatly in previous mandates.”
Galthié concluded the interview with a cryptic remark, saying, “You will witness the best team on February 2 in Marseille,” referring to the date of the Blues’ first match in the 6 Nations Tournament.