Antoine Dupont starts against South Africa, the return of an essential talent to the French XV

The captain of the French team, Antoine Dupont, during training in Rueil-Malmaison (Hauts-de-Seine), October 11, 2023.

He doesn’t wear a cape or even wear a mask – there has been talk of it – and could have a helmet around his forehead, but the French Superman is back. Twenty-four days after his maxillo-zygomatic fracture during the victory of his team against Namibia (96-0)the captain of the XV of France, Antoine Dupont will lead his troops, Sunday October 15 (9 p.m., on TF1), in the clash against the tough South African title holders in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.

The French number 9 was authorized to play again on Monday, and trained all week with the Blues holders. “Today, I am in full possession of my means, the player said on Friday. At the time, I didn’t know the severity of my injury, so I thought the World Cup was over for me. But I was lucky enough to have several weeks to regenerate. » Friday, at midday, the French coach, Fabien Galthié, announced that the Pyrenean scrum half will be there during the quarters, recovering his stripes as starter and captain.

The clock showed 10:06 p.m., Thursday, September 21, during the head-to-head clash between Antoine Dupont and Namibian captain Johan Deysel, at 45e minute of the third match of the group stage. Since then, hanging on the cheekbone of the Toulouse scrum half, oval ball fans feared seeing the Blues star cut short his World Cup. Operated in Toulouse by a specialist the next day, the French captain made an express recovery, validating the steps one after the other. Very quickly back with his partners in Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône), it quickly became clear that Fabien Galthié did not intend to deprive himself of his heir to the very strategic position of number 9. “If the surgeon gave the green light, it is because he considers that everything is in place. There is no need to box him to know if he can play on Sunday”ured the coach of the French attack, Laurent Labit, on Tuesday.

Read our survey: Article reserved for our subscribers Rugby World Cup: in France, the empire of the “9”

Monsieur Dupont is back, and the sun seems to shine again on the planet Ovalie. “Just his presence is important, within this group”, reported center Arthur Vincent a few days after the injury to the French captain. Because although baptized on the 22e The most common surname in France, Antoine Dupont is unique. ” When Romain Ntamack is injured at the end of preparation, it’s serious. But we say to ourselves that with Matthieu Jalibert, the Blues do not lack resources in this position [de demi d’ouverture]. If it happened to Antoine, it would be something else…, anticipated former international fly half Yann Delaigue, interviewed ahead of the competition. But it is linked to Antoine’s extraordinary qualities, which take nothing away from those of Romain. Antoine, there is only one on the planet! »

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