I feel good,” says Dupont as he’s named in France team for quarter-final

“I’m in full capacity of my means, be that physical or mental, to be ready for this match.”

FRANCE CAPTAIN Antoine Dupont says he is in perfect shape to start this weekend’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final with South Africa, weeks after undergoing surgery for a broken cheekbone.

The 26-year-old scrum-half has been out since September 21 with the injury and only returned to training this week, handing the hosts a huge confidence boost for Sunday’s game against the champions.

He will wear a headguard as demanded by his surgeon.

“I feel good. My recovery went well,” said Dupont.

“I’m in full capacity of my means, be that physical or mental, to be ready for this match.”

Dupont suffered the injury against Namibia last month and spent a week at home recovering after the surgery before returning to the France set-up.

He resumed full contact training sessions this week.

“A World Cup is long; I was lucky the injury happened early on,” said Dupont.

“It was important for me to tick all the boxes before coming back.”

He also responded to concerns that he was returning too soon.

“I haven’t felt pressure from the coaching staff,” said Dupont.

“No decision was forced; we respected the time periods, the stages were done progressively.

“The most important thing was my feeling, so that I don’t feel I am playing with the brakes on.”

France (vs. South Africa)

  1. Thomas Ramos; 14. Damian Penaud, 13. Gael Fickou, 12. Jonathan Danty, 11. Louis Bielle-Biarrey; 10. Matthieu Jalibert, 9. Antoine Dupont (captain); 1. Cyril Baille, 2. Peato Mauvaka, 3. Uini Atonio; 4. Cameron Woki, 5. Thibaud Flament; 6. Anthony Jelonch, 7. Charles Ollivon, 8. Gregory Alldritt.

Replacements: 16. Pierre Bourgarit, 17. Reda Wardi, 18. Dorian Aldegheri, 19. Romain Taofifenua, 20. Francois Cros, 21. Sekou Macalou, 22. Maxime Lucu, 23. Yoram Moefana.

South Africa (vs. France)

  1. Damian Willemse; 14. Kurt-Lee Arendese, 13. Jesse Kriel, 12. Damian De Allende, 11. Cheslin Kolbe; 10. Manie Libbok, 9. Cobus Reinach; 1. Steven Kitshoff, 2. Bong Mbonambi, 3. Frans Malherbe; 4. Eben Etzebeth, 5. Franco Mostert; 6. Siya Kolisi (captain), 7. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 8. Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: 16. Deon Fourie, 17. Ox Nche, 18. Vincent Koch, 19. RG Snyman, 20. Kwagga Smith, 21. Faf de Klerk, 22. Handre Pollard, 23. Willie Le Roux.