Rugby World Cup is the chance of a lifetime - Dupont

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France last hosted the tournament in 2007, famously knocking the All Blacks out of the event in which they were favourites in the quarterfinals. That game was Dupont's first strong rugby memory.

But France failed to follow up and was eliminated by England in the semifinals a week later. That was after losing their opening game of that tournament to Argentina, who beat them again in the playoffs for third and fourth.

This time they were embracing the competition, and they understood they had the favourites tag this team, along with Ireland, on their shoulders.

He told Midi Olympique, "Add to that the fact that France has never won this trophy, that makes the three reasons why we regard it as a meeting of a lifetime."

There was pressure on them this time, more than in 2007. However, it was still some time away.

"When the competition approaches, it will be harder and harder, stronger and stronger. In the meantime, you must draw strength from the expectation, take all the positives and eliminate the negatives.

"That's because we know the pressure can make us lose our way on D-Day.

"We have never been so well prepared. When you look at the last four years, the France team has never had such regularity, such consistency, and so much talent. We have done everything we needed to do to be ready when the tournament starts.

"Even if that guarantees nothing, the counters will be reset for the tournament."

Dupont played in the 2019 World Cup in Japan but said the 2023 tournament was different for the French. Last time the side was more conflicted and complicated. It was a time of change, with the older generation leaving and a new group arriving.

"There wasn't much in common between the two groups. It at least allowed us to gain experience among those who were there and who are still playing, to better understand what will be expected of us this time around."

Dupont said for France to avoid the pitfall of the past when the French were often their own worst enemy, they have to continue what they have achieved recently and to believe in their processes.

"The mental aspect will play a huge part. It is up to us to prepare accordingly and to be strong psychologically.


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