Olympics-Dupont embarks on Paris 2024 journey with Rugby Sevens squad


Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2023 - Quarter Final - France v South Africa - Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France - October 15, 2023 France's Antoine Dupont before the match REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier/ File photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Antoine Dupont is embarking on his Rugby Sevens journey that will lead the mercurial player to the Paris 2024 tournament, where the host nation will look to claim a first Olympic medal in the sport.

Dupont, who has been named in the squad for the Vancouver SVNS event, is taking a break from rugby union, leaving his usual team mates struggling in the Six Nations.

France have a poor Olympic record in Rugby Sevens, having finished seventh in Rio in 2016 and failing to qualify for the Tokyo Games.

They finished sixth in the last World Cup in 2022, their second best result in the tournament.

While Rugby Sevens is a different ball game than rugby union, former England and Britain Sevens captain Tom Mitchell believes Dupont will easily adapt to the frantic pace of the discipline.

"Someone like Dupont, who has a high rugby IQ, will not struggle to pick it up but there are different scenarios that he will encounter on a sevens field that he won't in XVs," Mitchell told the BBC.

In Vancouver, France will face the United States, Samoa and Australia in the group phase.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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