2024 Olympics: French rugby sevens launches Olympic season while waiting for Antoine Dupont

2024 Olympics: French rugby sevens launches Olympic season while waiting for Antoine Dupont

It all starts in Dubai, and we promise this isn’t the title of a new reality TV show moving to the Gulf. Simply the program for the French women’s and men’s rugby sevens teams, who kick off their Olympic season in the emirate with the first stage of the global circuit, the World Sevens Series, on Saturday and Sunday. The basic idea is clear, given the Paris Olympics will be held on home soil, where blue and blue automatically qualify: win one of the season’s eight tournaments around the world.

A classic goal in sport, but in this case, the French rugby sevens still faltered at the final hurdles. The women, Olympic vice champions in Tokyo, have never won at this level of competition. The men have only won once, but that was in 2005, at the old Jean Boyne Stadium, another era. It’s not for a lack of progress, with two top-four finishes in the world rankings last season, a final for the blue and a six-place finish for the men. But without conclusion.

“I don’t necessarily see a deficiency in our group, we know it will pass,” insists Anne-Cécile Ciofani, one of the winners of three silver colors at the 2021 Olympics. “We have to strive for accuracy in the decisive moments, to be able to make the difference in the last second, says coach Divided men, Jerome Daret. Each tournament will be a dress rehearsal with the goal of winning the cup in Paris. »

“The recent history of rugby sevens shows that at every Olympic Games, the team that dominated the world afterwards has won (Fiji twice for the men, Australia and New Zealand for the women), analyzes our counterpart in charge of the women, David Cortex. “So our aim is to win this series to reach the Position of candidates for the Olympic Games in France. We are on the right track, and there are areas in which we have been able to catch up with or even exceed the reference countries. »

DuPont, arrival “makes noise and goodness”

Too large pieces of circle? New Zealand and Australia in the women’s race. New Zealanders, Argentines and Fijians are among the men. Eight chances to win finally, with Dubai in December, then Cape Town in South Africa the following weekend. Before attacking 2024 with a highly publicized reinforcement among the men: Antoine Dupont, captain of the XV team of France, who in November officially announced his desire to join this Olympic preparation.

For now, half of the concert is supposed to make its debut during the fourth leg, scheduled to take place in Vancouver from February 23-25. “It gives extra credibility to the discipline to see a player with such notoriety arrive. I hope that Part 7 will highlight Antoine’s performance,” confirms David Cortex. “I’m really curious to see what she can do,” continues Anne-Cécile Ciofani. “His arrival is causing hype and goodness.” »

The person in question, who is currently with his club Stade Toulouse, will join the group in January to begin the adaptation process. “He will put himself in danger and get out of his comfort zone,” believes Jerome Daret. He must feel as good as possible to achieve his full potential. We want to improve this team’s performance through healthy competition. “With the aim of finally achieving this victory on the track and success in the games on our home soil.

Dubai Championship programme

Group matches this Saturday, the final stage on Sunday.

French women’s national team: France-Canada (6 a.m. French time); France-Spain (8:15 a.m.); France – United States (1:07 p.m.)

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French men’s national team: France – Great Britain (7:06 AM); France-Fiji (10:42 a.m.); France – United States (3:44 pm).

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