“We tried to find the joy of living and emulation,” assures Antoine Dupont before France-Wales

The captain of the XV of France returned to the reasons for the rediscovered dynamics of the XV of France which welcomes Wales on Saturday for the final day of the Six Nations tournament.

Eyes on victory, and why not on the trophy. Ahead of the final match of the Six Nations Tournament against Wales on Saturday (15:45), France XV captain Antoine Dupont returned to the press on Friday 17 March on the title race and the mood of the group sky blue. He also addressed the specificity of the match, six months before the World Cup.

Games against Wales have often been close in recent years, do you expect another match like this?

Anthony Dupont: Yes, we talked about it this week showing the results of the last few seasons, which also show the state of mind in Wales for a good decade. They have good results, and even when they lose, it comes down to a few points, they are still in the game until the last action. We will try to have a bigger gap.

This will be the last competitive match before the World Cup. Do you feel the pressure rise?

We feel it from the first international matches. We see it with the 2023 Six Nations Tournament, everyone is thinking about the World Cup. But it was important to focus on this competition, to prepare without looking too far ahead. That’s what we continued to do this week, before planning the next goals.

Is there the winning goal on Saturday, and the final winning goal, which also spins in the corner of your head?

Of course, by counting we can always win the tournament, even if our fate is not in our hands. We will play the game to win it, we want to score as many points as possible and hope for a final victory. We will focus on ourselves and play the best game we can.

Fabien Galthié spoke, after the defeat in Ireland, about the need to recreate emulation in the group, is that something you heard?

We sat down, talked to staff and leaders, talked about how we had fallen into a certain rut. This is our fourth tournament, we had built up a lot of habits in our group life, and sometimes we would do things to do them without any real conviction. We tried to find joy in life and emulation over the next few weeks with two wins giving us plenty of air.

Are you coming off a historic victory against England, is there a risk of getting carried away and playing too much against the Welsh?

It’s a risk, we talked about it too. I would venture to hope that the group is now quite experienced by now. We’ve had ups and downs, we know that at this level we can’t relax, otherwise we’ll fall back on our streets with lost games, or that we play on details right down to the last action. I hope we will be stronger on this point.

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