Avatar photo


Dupont confident France will ‘bounce back’ after Ireland humbling

"I'm not worried for the boys, they're a squad with character and ambition and I'm sure they'll bounce back for the next match in Scotland."

Scrum-half Antoine Dupont said on Saturday he thinks France will react in a positive way after the heavy opening Six Nations defeat to Ireland.

Regular captain Dupont is missing for the tournament as he joins up with France’s seven-a-side squad before this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris.

Friday’s 38-17 loss in Marseille left Les Bleus’ title hopes already hanging by a thread ahead of their trip to Scotland net week.

“It was hard to see France in such difficulty,” Dupont told Canal+.

“It was a step too much, we threw too many spanners in the works.”

“I’m not worried for the boys, they’re a squad with character and ambition and I’m sure they’ll bounce back for the next match in Scotland,” he added.

Dupont has become very influential within the France set-up since his Test debut in 2017 and led the side to a disappointing Rugby World Cup quarter-final exit to eventual winners South Africa on home soil last year.

Former World Rugby player of the year Dupont played his final 15-a-side game for more than a month on Saturday before starting his Olympics preparation.

He is set to take part in the Vancouver (February 23-25) and Los Angeles (March 2-3) legs of the World Rugby SVNS circuit over the coming weeks with the men’s sevens event at the Olympics taking place at the end of July.

“There’s a lot of excitement, a bit of worry too,” Dupont said after Toulouse’s league 46-26 win over Bayonne.

“It’s a really motivating challenge which I will approach in a studious way to learn first up and then quickly perform well,” the 52-time capped international added.

Read more on these topics

Ireland Rugby Team SIX NATIONS

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits