By Simon Galinier
See my news
His name is Antoine Dupont and play rugby in Haute-Garonne, but is not the best player in the world. It’s actually about the namesake of the scrum half of the XV of France and Toulouse which evolves in the south of Toulouseunder the colors of SC Rieumes (Fédérale 2), the club dear to the Viviès brothers, Christian and Bernard.
Rugby News went to meet this 28-year-old winger-back, affectionately nicknamed the “Antoine Dupont de Wish (or of the poor)” by his partners and who has many points in common with the prodigy of French rugby.
The two Antoine Dupont clashed in high school at the UNSS
Born in Toulouse, this Antoine Dupont also grew up and started rugby a few kilometers from the Gers, not Castelnau-Magnoac (Hautes-Pyrenees) as illustrated by Dupont, but in Rieumes (Haute-Garonne). “I did all my rugby school at the Sporting Club Rieumois before going to Samatan for a year in Cadets 2th year, then two seasons at Saint-Paul-lès-Dax where I was doing my higher education, before returning home. The SCR called me and I came running back, because the club had just moved up to Federal 3, and I had just experienced this level with Saint-Paul-lès-Dax”, explains the one who comes from a very rugby family, since his father and uncle played at SCR, and who is starting his 8e consecutive season with the Blue and White Seniors squad.
In the Juniors selection of the Armagnac-Bigorre committee, the winger or fullback notably evolved alongside Johan Demai-Hamecher, international at VII and resident of the RC Auch. That year, he also saw the arrival of his namesake, a resident of the Auscitain club, already called up in Cadets alongside a certain Anthony Jelonch.
If he has never had the opportunity to get to know the scrum half of the Blues and Stade Toulousain, the Rieumois explains that he has already crossed paths with the best player in the world several times, during his schooling in Auch. .
We met by chance, when he was not known at all. In fact, my girlfriend was in high school next to mine and saw on the pre-return lists that there was an Antoine Dupont. At first she wanted it to be me, but it turned out to be him. My girlfriend played UNSS rugby at her high school, so she ran into him a lot and she told him she was dating someone named like him. One Wednesday afternoon, we ran into her in Auch and she showed it to me, saying “Hey, he’s the other Antoine Dupont!”
The Rieumois even had the opportunity to rub shoulders with his namesake on the meadow: “At that time, I played against him in UNSS rugby. I wear the colors of Le Garros high school and he that of Beaulieu agricultural high school, with his childhood friend Anthony Jelonch. He was already very impressive technically. »
“Agents and heritage managers contacted me on Facebook”
In 2018, Marlène, the companion of Antoine Dupont le Rieumois, met the current best player in the world during an award ceremony organized at the Casino Barrière, in Toulouse. “They saw each other again there and he remembered me very well and even asked him about me and my club, because at the time we had Lannemezan in the pool and his brother was playing at CAL . Moreover, Antoine Dupont was present in the stands to watch the first leg, so we met quickly. »
This future dad who lives in Saint-Thomas, 15 km from Rieumes, works as aService Agent in a center for the disabled in Lahage. A professional universe where its namesake often comes back on the table. “I meet a lot of people with disabilities and they only talk to me about that… Some even ask me if Antoine Dupont is not my brother. »
Younger, the winger or rear of Rieumes, also experienced totally comical situations with people who had mistaken Antoine Dupont:
I never received an administrative document intended for him. On the other hand, I had contacts with players’ agents, including one from Toulon who managed the career of Mamuka Gorgodze, but also managers of property management who had mistaken Antoine Dupont. They had contacted me on Facebook and I was even invited to a meal in Castres, when Antoine Dupont was still playing at CO. I told this guy that he was going to be disappointed when he went to see me and especially disappointed with my heritage… (laughs).
“According to the FFR, we are only two Antoine Dupont to play rugby”
This name and this identity are not difficult or heavy to bear for the Rieumois who rather takes it in a very cool and extended way: “We laugh about it more than anything else… It’s the name of the best player in the world , so I wear it easily, let’s say there is worse. It doesn’t bother me, even at rugby level, I don’t get pushed around by opponents on the pitch, for the moment, and no one has ever reasoned with me about that. »
On the other hand, if there are indeed some who take advantage of this situation, it is his teammates and friends from Sporting Club Rieumois who are enjoying themselves: “They baptized me Antoine Dupont de Wish, that’s the nickname that comes back the most and pleases a lot. Others also have fun calling me Toto Dupont, like the Toulousain. It’s always good-natured and fun, ”explains the one who would be the only namesake for the current best player in the world. “Personally, I don’t know any others and according to the FFR, I would be the only amateur rugby player to call myself that, so there would only be two of us Antoine Dupont playing rugby in France. »
“Despite his status, Antoine Dupont seems very available and approachable”
support of Toulouse, the Antoine Dupont Rieumois regularly goes to Ernest-Wallon to attend the scrum-half matches. “I was there especially for the play-off against La Rochelle and against Biarritz, the weekend before. My in-laws are subscribers, so they often manage to get us places and as soon as we can, we go, ”explains the person concerned, who has never sought to meet his namesake at the exit of the locker room. “I’m not bothered to do that, but I’m not worried if I ever have to see him again, despite his status, he still seems very available and approachable. »
Small winger, the Rieumois, who knew the Armagnac-Bigorre selection in U17, has the Springbok as a model Cheslin Kolbeex-partner of Antoine Dupont in Toulouse:
I appreciate his way of playing and his supports which mystify the defenses. I also really like Gabin Villière’s style of play, his aggressiveness and his spice, I love that. I compare myself to him sometimes, telling myself that I must be poison on the pitch. I kind of have the same piquant style of acting, putting sentences and going to chamber the big guys, I love that!
And even if he would have dreamed of a career similar to his namesake, because “it’s difficult to dream better”, Antoine Dupont is content with the steeple rugby of the SCR and his childhood friends within a workforce whose the forwards are trained by the Rieumois Jean-François Montauriol (39 years old), former second or third line Italian international (2 selections) passed by Toulouse or Treviso. “Any rugby player would have liked to have his destiny, since at 26, he only has the World Cup left to win and he risks touching it in 2023, I wish him anyway. »
And his namesake from rieumois will be the first supporter of the Blues and the best player in the world in their quest for a world title.
Was this article helpful to you? Note that you can follow Actu Rugby in the My Actu space. In one click, after registration, you will find all the news of your favorite cities and brands.