Dupont fuelled by World Cup disappointment

France's captain Antoine Dupont speaks with New Zealand referee Ben O’Keeffe during the France 2023 Rugby World Cup quarter-final match between France and South AfricaPhoto: AFP

France great Antoine Dupont says he is motivated by World Cup disappointment as he prepares for a remarkable 2024.

Dupont will miss the upcoming Six Nations to join France's Sevens programme in February as he targets the Paris Olympics.

The 27-year-old scrum-half says he is "very excited but a little bit scared" about the prospect of switching from XV-a-side.

"I will have a very busy year, but I love that and I am excited," he said.

Dupont helped mastermind a magnificent victory for his club side Toulouse over Harlequins on Sunday as the five-time champions continued their impressive start to the Champions Cup.

It comes after Dupont and a number of Toulouse team-mates experienced World Cup heartbreak on home soil at the hands of eventual champions South Africa at the quarter-final stage in October.

"When you lose a competition you want to do another thing to try to win again," added Dupont, speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live.

"The Champions Cup is always a special competition for us, and I think we saw the last two weeks that we are very motivated for this competition."

Dupont will be involved in Sevens series events in February and March, returning to Toulouse towards the end of the season before switching back to the Sevens programme in time for the Olympics in July.

"I will have to work a lot to be competitive in all the competitions," he said.

"The last time (playing Sevens) was under-18, I think, but it is the same sport and there are a lot of things similar.

"I will have to do my best. I have a lot of calls with the coach to try to learn some skills, and I will try to learn by watching the game.

"Yes, it's hard (to miss the Six Nations), but I have to make choices unfortunately."

This story first appeared on the BBC