XV of France – autumn tour: “Happy with this first captaincy” savors Antoine Dupont after the success of the Blues against Argentina

the essential Appointed captain of the XV of France for this autumn tour in the absence of Charles Ollivon, Antoine Dupont was still flawless during the success against Argentina on Saturday night. Despite the difficulties encountered before the break, the scrum half from Stade Toulouse wants to retain the group’s state of mind.

Antoine Dupont, how do you explain the French difficulties in the first period?

We lacked, I think, control in attack and defense. There was a lot of enthusiasm and goodwill, but too much indiscipline, which kept the Argentines coming back to us every time. Afterwards, on the offensive side, we were impatient and struggled to hold the ball, especially in their camp. Especially since they put a lot of defensive and combat impact in the rucks. This is what we missed for a long time to make the break despite our many opportunities.

After the first Argentine test, behind Matthieu Jalibert’s blunder, we saw you bring the group together around Bordeaux. What did he say to himself at that moment?

I think the reaction of the team was perfect because nobody panicked. It was a fact of the game but, on our bases, we were solid although unruly. Our defensive curtain was waterproof and we felt we had confidence. There was no problem. Everyone has been kind to Matthieu, we know that the high level leads to this kind of error. We saw that this had not at all impacted the group on the rest of the match.

It was therefore your first captaincy with the XV of France. How did you approach it and how did you experience it?

This role is not entirely new to me, even if it is in the France team. I have known this function in Toulouse for some time. Even when Charles (Ollivon) was captain in selection, we were a small group of leaders made up of several players, discussing all aspects of the game and the perks. Then I was not alone during the week either. I was supported by Gaƫl (Fickou) or Greg (Alldritt) and it happened quite naturally. On arrival, I am of course happy with this first captaincy.

You waited a long time to see if your try was valid in the second half, and it was ultimately refused for a slight forward from Melvyn Jaminet sixty meters down. Does it annoy you as much as we do to see this kind of decision for an action that takes place so long upstream?

Obviously, as with you, there is frustration when an arbitration dispute goes against us. But that’s part of the game. We have to accept it and above all, it must not have an impact on the rest of the meeting. It is therefore necessary to be cold in the head in these moments. Even if it annoys us a bit too (smile).

What did you get from this reunion with the public at the Stade de France?

Honestly, it was a real pleasure and a real happiness to be able to sing the Marseillaise with such present choirs. We had prepared for this return of the public and, frankly, the spectators really carried us. They allowed us to beat Argentina. This is also why we practice this sport, to share these kinds of emotions, and I have the impression that we made the public happy.

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