Let’s give back to Jacques Brunel, the previous coach, what belongs to him. The first Antoine Dupont-Romain Ntamack association at the hinge of the XV of France, it is him. In February 2019 during a France-Scotland, the two boys had negotiated the thing very well. Without taking away its merit from the previous boss of the Blues, it should be noted that this marriage followed six unsuccessful 9-10 unions in previous matches. A dozen players had been chosen and associated with the offensive animation of the French team, and the two kids, Antoine Dupont (22 years old, at the time) and Romain Ntamack (19) were only a formula Furthermore. Which turned out to be magical.
No more hesitation for the duo Fabien Galthié (coach) -Raphaël Ibanez (manager) at the helm of the XV of France since the 2019 World Cup: Antoine Dupont in the scrum for the first pass and Romain Ntamack at the opening for the first kick launch. The two players have brought back a smile to their Toulouse club since they evolve in this configuration in red and black. And now they are imposed more and more in blue, as the hinge of the present and the future.
Perfect copy against Wales
They showed it again on Saturday 24 against Wales (38-21), making a perfect copy for the scrum-half author of two tries. And more than honorable for the second with a faultless, thirteen points scored out of thirteen possible at the foot for the second. At the end of the match, the coach was full of praise for his kids, especially his number 9: “He lived up to the team. He was able to exploit our highlights. He was able to be very good in a context different from the Top 14. He was able to adapt quickly enough to both offensive and defensive activity of the Welsh. “
“But I want to emphasize that the hinge was good overall, it carries the team”, continued Fabien Galthié who already dates for October 31 and the decisive match against Ireland, which will likely emerge the winner of the Tournament 2020. “I also want to point out the excellent entry from Baptiste Serin (Editor’s note: replacing Antoine Dupont at the 70e minute) “, specifies the coach. How to observe that any apparently indisputable choice can always be discussed.
Thrown very young in the big international bath
The fact remains that the two very young players are gifted rugby, thrown very early in the deep end of international rugby. Antoine Dupont, who started professionally in Castres before joining Stade Toulouse, played his first European Cup match in 2015 at the age of 17. “Me, at the time I was still in college”, Amused Romain Ntamack during a press briefing by the French team at the 2019 World Cup, where he had become the youngest player selected in blue in history.
Son of Émile Ntamack, famous international full-back, Romain Ntamack was fed on milk from Stade Toulousain, his father’s club since childhood. First employed as a center three-quarter, he is increasingly establishing himself as the great opening half awaited for ages by French rugby. And it does not seem close to being won by the pressure, an evil that paralyzed Dan Biggar, his glorious Welsh opponent on Saturday 24, whose match was missed. Nor by the big head syndrome sometimes watching these kids pushed very quickly.
” It’s hard not to think you’re someone else when you’re so young. But if you are well surrounded, your family will help you channel ”, underlined Saturday 24 Romain Ntamack in a joint interview with his teammate Dupont broadcast on RMC Sport on the eve of France-Wales. The ambition is a little different for Antoine Dupont. For the latter, the important thing is now to last in order to arrive with experience, “At least 50 or 60 selections during the 2023 World Cup”. This World Cup organized in France is the main objective of the young generation. After Saturday’s game against Ireland, Saturday 31 at 9 p.m.