VIDEO. United States, Samoa, Antoine Dupont's first steps with the French rugby sevens team in Canada

VIDEO. United States, Samoa, Antoine Dupont's first steps with the French rugby sevens team in Canada

Antoine Dupont played his first minutes with France VII in Vancouver. MAXPPP – Matthieu Mirville

The attraction Antoine Dupont, who is aiming for the Paris Olympic Games (July 26 – August 11), played his first minutes with the French sevens rugby team in Vancouver (Canada), in the night of Friday February 24, in support of a team master of its subject.

The Blues shone during the first day of the fourth stage of the world circuit with a victory against the United States (24-12) then a show of force against Samoa (40-7). They imitated the French women's team, also victorious twice (26 to 14 against Canada then 19 to 7 against Spain).

Before the last match of the group stage on Saturday (three groups of four, the first two in each group and the two best third-placed qualifiers), the two teams, at the top of their group, are assured of play the quarter-finals on Saturday.

All eyes in Vancouver were on Antoine Dupont (27), rugby union star, emblematic captain of the French team and Stade Toulouse, who set himself the goal of shining at the Paris Games this summer.

The quarter-finalist of the last rugby union world championship made a discreet debut but welcomed by the public by starting both matches on the bench, only to return both times in the 11th minute (a match is divided into two periods of 7 minutes ), each time while the meeting was closed. In such a short time, Dupont, number 25 on his back, did not score a try, but was involved in some actions, passing and in the rucks, where he was sanctioned once by the referee.

The arrival of Dupont in the France group is "not easy because he's a great player", commented his teammate Paulin Riva. "We want to help him maximize his great potential so that he's good for the team."

Magic against Samoa

If it had a message to convey, the French men's team showed that the machine was perfectly oiled and that Dupont was not wearing the savior costume but was going to have to fight to be make his way.

After a confusing start to the match against the United States (8th in the world circuit), the Blues (7th) ended up winning (24-12, 4 tries) before putting up a demonstration against Samoa (9th), crushed 40 to 7, with six tries.

The French, magic wand in hand, multiplied the class actions: a hair-raising sprint from Jordan Sepho (4th); a kickoff from Stephen Parez directly recovered in the air by Jefferson-Lee Joseph who spun for the try (8th); or a superb action concluded by Esteban Capilla after a chistera inspired by Varian Pasquet (19th).

Les Bleues, Olympic vice-champions in Tokyo in 2021 and even better placed in the world hierarchy (3rd), assumed their status as favorite in their group with two authoritarian successes.

They first cooled the local public by easily beating Canada (26-14) thanks to four tries, two of which were thanks to the powerful Séraphine Okemba. They then dominated Spain (19-7) with three tries and are among the favorites to reach the semi-finals and the final played on Sunday. The world sevens rugby circuit will then stop at Los Angeles next week, where Dupont will still be with the Blues.

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