La Federaci�n French Rugby has announced the call-up of the midfielder Antoine Dupontcaptain and great star of the ‘XV del Gallo’, for the Sevens World Series Final which will be held from May 31 to June 2 at the Civitas Metropolitan from Madrid. Dupont played with the French national team last France World Cup 2023 but later did not play in the last 6th Nations to concentrate with the French Seven team, the modality ol�mpica of rugby, with which he has competed in several HSBC Sevens Series events and aspires to be in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Dupont, 27 years old and who last weekend proclaimed himself Europa camp with its club, Stade Toulousain (he was named best player in the final) joins the list – not very extensive either – of great rugby stars not because they have played Sevens, but they have been Olympic, like the South Africans Cheslin Kolbe o Quagga Smithel newzeland�s Rieko John or the Argentine Mat�as Moroni. In the two Olympic editions held, the men’s gold has gone to Fiji, whose World Cup XV team included several Sevens players. In the women’s competition the permeability between both modalities is greater: the New Zealander Portia Woodman add two world XV and ol mpic gold and silver in Seven, for example.

The presence of Dupont, best player in the world in 2022on the Seven team, caused quite a few ellipsis in the most traditionalist sector of rugby, which sees Sevens as a competition ‘smaller‘and it doesn’t quite fit that it has been chosen to be part of the Olympic program – normally, without going into assessing the enormous logistical difficulties to fit a XV competition into the Olympic organization. It is, however, one of the im�genes of French sport ahead of the Games.

Furthermore, the agreement between the French Olympic Committee, the FFR and his club has meant that Antoine Dupont has only participated in 11 of the 24 in the French Top-14 (5 complete matches) to better adjust the Olympic preparation.

Dupont has also not taken part in all six rounds of the HSBC Sevens Series. But he did do it in Los Angeles and Vancouver, where France won its first tournament in almost twenty years. However, he has been key in Stade’s conquest of the European Cup. Toulosain. Its presence in Madrid reinforces the role of HSBC Sevens Series Finals as a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the Olympic competition.

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