Rugby World Cup 2023: two documentaries on France 2 and Canal to meet Antoine Dupont

He is the man of superlatives

Rugby World Cup 2023: two documentaries on France 2 and Canal to meet Antoine Dupont

He is the man of superlatives. At 26 years old and standing at 1.75m tall, he has already won everything, including the title of best player in the world. All he's missing is the World Cup. Antoine Dupont, the scrum half and captain of the XV of France, was crowned. But how does one make one of the best players in the world? This is the question explored by two documentaries, one available on MyCanal, the other on France Télévisions.

The first, Dupont, naturally, by Guilhem Garrigues, lives up to its name. Everything is "natural": the player's talent, career and personality all seem to be mapped out, since he fell into the cauldron of the Ovalie from early childhood, being born in the right place (the South-West, for those which would be lost). This incredible journey is told by the player himself, and in very touching moments, by his mother, his brother and his uncle. His coaches and teammates are of course part of the cast.

The film recounts the vibrant exploits of Antoine Dupont this season, through fantastic attempts, inspired passes, his supernatural support recoveries and his staggering explosive sprints. His play and his trophies – a third French championship with Stade Toulouse this season – are praised by great stars such as Jonny Wilkinson, Dan Carter and Thierry Dusautoir. The film, however, smooths out the rough edges of its subject, to highlight the sporting war machine, as reserved as it is obsessed with victory. Perfect for galvanizing yourself before a match.


On France 2 (and, Premières danses: Antoine Dupont, des amis et un ballon takes the opposite view of this somewhat conventional story. David Alexander Cassan and Aline Magrez were interested in the cruelest defeat that Antoine Dupont suffered, before Castres Olympique, before Stade Toulouse, before the French team, in short, before Antoine Dupont was Antoine Dupont. This is the final of the French junior championship – known as “Crabos”, named after the former French international and great tactician René Crabos – of the 2013-2014 season, with FC Auch (Gers), against Racing Metro 92 by Camille Chat.

The coming-of-age novel begins at the start of this exceptional season, the “last with childhood friends”, including the inseparable accomplice Anthony Jelonch, and ends with a cathartic reconstruction. Between the two, we replay the rivalry between church rugby and city rugby, and we unfold an adolescence between stadiums, village festivals, bars, high schools and tractors, where friendship is the real star.

The two films have in common that they show very precious archive images of the player. Antoine Dupont speaks skillfully, without completely opening up. But one thing is certain: he doesn't forget where he comes from.