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French bank on Latin temperament to counter Bok brutes

INTERVIEW: The focus has been mostly on talismanic scrumhalf and captain Antoine Dupont this week, but ‘physicality’ is set to be a big part of the World Cup quarterfinal face-off between host France and defending champions South Africa.

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French forward coach William Servat earlier this week revealed that Dupont is “100 percent” ready to face the Springboks at Stade de France in Paris on Sunday.

However, once he turned away from the obvious and understandable hype surrounding Dupont, admitted that they will have to deal effectively with the Bok brutes if they are keep alive their dream of a first-ever World Cup crown for France.

“There are always matches where the commitment is incredible,” Servat said about facing the physical challenge posed by South Africa.

“Take Portugal, a team that showed everyone that our sport is a fighting sport.

“As long as the spirit of our team is there and the players are willing to make sacrifices, these teams can do incredible things.

“Every nation knows how difficult it will be when they play South Africa.

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“South Africa is a team that make a mark, a big and strong team.

“They cultivate this and bring a physical dimension that makes it difficult for teams playing them.

“The French team, with our Latin temperament and our pride, our players were able to rise to the challenge [last November in Marseille,” he said of Les Bleus win on the year-end international.

“We’re preparing for this kind of thing, and the match will be of a rare intensity, as it was in November.

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“I hope the medical staff [on duty] are ready, because players were queuing up for the concussion protocol [last time].

“One thing’s for sure, the French will rise to the enormous challenge.”

(Continue below …)

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No.8 Grégory Alldritt also spoke about the challenge of standing up to the Bok brutes.

“We’re making progress match by match,” Alldritt said.

“So are they.

“We know how they’re going to play.

“Their DNA, their rugby, is based on physicality.

“It’s up to us to put in more intensity than usual for 80 minutes.

“As we saw in Marseille [in November 2022], they’re a team that stays in the game for 80 minutes.

“We’ve been warned.”

@king365ed
@rugby365com

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