Antoine Dupont’s ‘little initiation’ after joining France sevens training camp

One of the world’s best rugby players Antoine Dupont linked up with his new sevens teammates for the first time last month ahead of a bid to make France’s squad for the Paris Olympics in July.

Dupont, 27, attended a France sevens training camp south of Paris in Marcoussis which was held from January 2 to 5. But it was only a brief appearance from the former World Rugby Player of the Year who returned to Toulouse ahead of their clash with Lyon that weekend.

In a video released by France Rugby, Dupont was filmed in a huddle alongside his new teammates before stepping into the centre of the circle. Dupont dropped to the ground for 10 burpees, and now we know why.

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Sam Dickson talks to RugbyPass about the All Blacks Sevens early exit | Perth SVNS

After beating the All Blacks Sevens on the opening day of last month’s SVNS Perth at HBF Park, Frenchman Aaron Grandidier Nkanang revealed it was “a little initiation” that all players and staff must complete.

“It’s not anything particularly strange, it’s just 10 burpees,” Grandidier Nkanang told RugbyPass in Perth after France’s stunning 33-17 win over New Zealand.

“He just did his burpees and we had him for the rest of the day.

“It was nice to get to meet him, to get to know him a bit better because obviously, I’ve only known him from the TV.

“I’m excited to see what he can bring to the team.”

When asked if Dupont ‘looked like the world’s best player’ while he did his burpees, Grandidier Nkanang paused for a moment. “Yeah man,” he said before laughing.

But what Antoine Dupont’s addition to this French side could mean for the rest of the SVNS Series is no laughing matter. Les Bleus Sevens are already a rapidly improving side.

After starting their new season with a 35-nil thumping of Great Britain in Dubai, heavy defeats to Fiji and the United States saw France to fail to progress to the Cup quarter-finals. France battled it out in the bottom four along with Spain, Great Britain and Canada.

But Les Bleus Sevens showed improvement a week later to progress through to the Cup knockout rounds of SVNS Cape Town, and they made the quarter-finals last month in Perth as well.

Next up on the SVNS Series is an event in Vancouver from February 23 to 25. Those interested in watching some of the world’s best rugby while enjoying the best party in town can get tickets HERE.

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