In the absence of the injured Charles Olivon, half of the Toulouse Scrum inherited the lines at just 24 years old. It is a responsibility exercised by the captain of France’s 15th ship No. 96, who confirmed at a press conference on Friday, “naturally.”
What does this captain represent to you?
Antoine Dupont: Much pride. The title of captain of the French national team is a powerful thing. When I see the names that came before me, I feel the legacy. It motivates me to be perfect on a daily basis, to give my best.
How did you live these two weeks with this responsibility?
All goes well. She took this role naturally. I was already a leader to play with others. It’s an add-on but it doesn’t significantly change my approach to things.
‘Efforts have been made to communicate with the referee in English’
On the ground, that will change, because you will be the hubs of judgment…
A relationship with governance is essential, even at the international level. Even if I am less experienced than the others, I have already met most of the referees in the European Cup. Mr. O’Keeffe (New Zealand match referee, editor’s note) speak French. I made efforts in English on my part…
What would it change for you to develop with two contestants, Matthew Gallibert and Roman Ntamak?
It adds several threads to our arc, especially on the offensive side. We have two players who are able to make the right choices, read the spaces, and make the right choices with very good technical quality, and it’s a very good kicking game too. This gives us more options to play in front and behind the defense.
“I don’t remember seeing the Argentines lose a game at first. Their hearts beat so hard when they play for Puma”
How do you feel about the public returning after a year and a half of international meetings behind closed doors?
If we actually find the audience in the club, it’s a particular stadium, a different context. The loudspeaker is larger, and there will be more noise. It is a pleasure to find our supporters. We know how far it can bring the audience behind us…
Should we fear the extreme impulse of the Argentines?
It’s in their DNA. They always have this state of mind before entering the field, during the hymen. You can feel their pride by wearing this shirt. I don’t remember seeing them miss a match at first. Their hearts beat faster when they play with Pumas. It is a nation capable of anything without necessarily seeing them coming…
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