This Monday, Antoine Dupont took part in the traditional press conference which officially launches the 2023 6 Nations Tournament. The captain of the Blues notably returned to the playing time of the executives of the XV of France, considered too important by many. The Stade Toulousain scrum-half did not mince words.
This is a subject that is put back on the table every year. Moreover, when answering our question, Antoine Dupont had trouble hiding his weariness. But it’s a fact: French internationals generally play much more than their future Irish opponents, for example.
So the Stade Toulousain scrum-half didn’t really mince words: “I think you have to see the subject the other way around. It’s not that we play too much, it’s that there are too many games. When you’re part of the staff of the XV of France or of a Top 14 club, you always want to put your best players on the pitch, and that’s normal. The problem today is that the calendar is too busy, and the rest periods are sorely lacking.”
A difficult situation to improve according to the French captain: “Right now it’s hard to find improvements. We players are in the middle of it all and we can’t ask our coaches not to play us. Although I still think he There was more turnover than usual in my club Stade Toulousain. This helps to reduce the drop in level during matches.”
A clear and flawless speech that Antoine Dupont ended with these words: “It’s a problem that needs to be solved.” Those concerned will recognize each other.
16 games for Dupont this season, 9 for Gibson-Park
On the second day of this 2023 6 Nations Tournament, Antoine Dupont should cross paths with his Irish counterpart, Jamison Gibson-Park. The opportunity to compare the playing time of these two men since the start of the season.
Since the start of this 2022/2023 exercise, Dupont has taken part in 16 meetings, including 14 with Toulouse. The Stade Toulousain scrum-half was only replaced twice.
Opposite, it’s a whole different rhythm for the Leinster playmaker. There are nine games, including 7 in the shoes of a holder. A little more striking, Gibson-Park has played only two small championship games. To reach the bar of nine participations, the scrum-half played the three November tests with Ireland, and the four Champions Cup days.
It now remains to be seen whether this difference in playing time will have its role to play during this 2023 Tournament. Last season, the Blues still had everything.