July 21, 2024

Dupont will lead the French club’s charge to a record 23rd league title, as well as a domestic and Champions Cup double almost a month to the day before a possible gold medal decider at the Sevens event of the Paris Olympics.

The 27-year-old former World Rugby player of the year started off the French and European season with defeat in the World Cup quarterfinal at the Stade de France.

 

Since that agonising loss, Dupont has successfully turned his hand to the shorter code of the game.

He was named Sevens ‘newcomer’ of the year after lifting the Los Angeles and Madrid legs of the series, while also managing to help Toulouse to a sixth Champions Cup crown in the 15-man code.

“Paris welcoming the Olympic Games was a big motor for the challenge,” Dupont told this month’s Tetu magazine.

“But it’s also come at a time in my career when I needed something new, to get out of my comfort zone, to put myself in danger.

“Discovering a new environment, new teammates, a new system, has done me a lot of good and I think I’m blossoming in rugby,” he added.

Whatever the result at Marseille’s Stade Velodrome, with the Stade de France out of use due to Olympic preparations, Dupont will have circled July 8 in his calendar and the France’s sevens squad announcement.

“Physically, it’s going to be tough until July,” Dupont said.

Between Dupont and a second double in three years are Bordeaux-Begles, appearing in their maiden Final.

The team with the best average home club crowd were created in 2006 as Stade Bordelais and Club Athletique Begles Bordeaux merged.

They were promoted to the Top 14 five years later and have lost at the last-four stage in the past three seasons.

“For a long time we were crying, now we’re smiling and heading to Marseille,” club captain Maxime Lucu said.

“There was a lot of frustration, sadness, bad times with the club, people saying Bordeaux-Begles would never get further than the semis.

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