Top 14 Final: “The Vélodrome doesn't really bring back good memories for me”, says Toulouse's Antoine Dupont before facing the UBB

Top 14 Final: "The Vélodrome doesn't really bring back good memories for me", says Toulouse's Antoine Dupont before facing the UBB

Antoine Dupont et les Toulousains visent le doublé Coupe d'Europe/Championnat. MAXPPP – FABIEN COTTEREAU

Dupont wants to "ignore" of his curse of the Marseille Vélodrome.

The Vélodrome stadium in Marseille, the unusual venue for the Top 14 final, does not "really bring back good memories" to the scrum half and captain of Toulouse Antoine Dupont, he admitted on Thursday on the eve of facing Bordeaux-Bègles.

Do you find yourself at the Vélodrome stadium with the desire to ward off fate after your red card against South Africa in 2022 and your fracture cheekbone against Namibia during the last World Cup?

Thank you for reminding me (laughs). It's true that it doesn't really bring back good memories of seeing the exit through which I left the stadium a few months ago. But it was a completely different context. We must try to ignore all that, all superstition, and just focus on what is incumbent on us tomorrow (Friday).

On what we can control, what we can still fix, and enjoy living these moments. There will be an incredible atmosphere, in a stadium that makes a lot of noise. It's up to us to take advantage of all this and try to get the best out of ourselves.

Does the possible starting role of UBB fly-half Matthieu Jalibert, whose season was thought to be over due to injury, change the situation? ?

We know him very well, we know his qualities as a player. But honestly, we didn't really pay attention to that. We really focused on ourselves all week. Regardless of the team facing you, we know what they are capable of after what they have shown all year.

Whether in front or behind, it's a very complete team, capable of winning in different ways. In any case, he's a player to pay attention to, but as with the entire three-quarter line.

How are you experiencing this particular season, with the Paris Olympic Games still waiting for you after this final ?

I take on the deadlines one after the other. I knew it would be a busy year for me, with very high goals. I did everything I could to perform as well as possible in all the competitions I was involved in. Today we are reaching a still very important deadline. When you have opportunities, you have to know how to seize them. This is what motivates us every day. At this stage of the competition, mental freshness and motivation arrive on their own. I will still have a few days to decompress before diving back into the next objective, which will be just as immense.

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