Three French talents set to shine in the upcoming Six Nations tournament

French flair.

The recently concluded Rugby World Cup was supposed to be France’s crowning moment. They opened their doors up to the world to host the tournament and the bookies duly made them the favourites for success. They were the reigning Six Nations champions and had the best player in the world in their ranks. However, unfortunately, they couldn’t live up to the billing. 

Everything was peachy in the pool stage. The French soundly defeated New Zealand 27-13 in the opening game of the tournament and, as a result, finished top of Pool A. But while the All Blacks would go on to reach the final, the hosts couldn’t find a way past eventual champions South Africa, who silenced the Stade de France with a one-point victory in the quarter-finals. 

Now, Les Bleus go back to the drawing board. The 2024 Six Nations gets underway on February 2nd and the reigning champions are the favourites once more. Here are three of the players set to lead the team to victory this year.

Antoine Dupont

One of the main reasons why Six Nations odds providers have made them the favourites once more is the fact that they have scrum-half Antoine Dupont in their lineup. The 27-year-old is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world, having first received this moniker back in 2021.

He’s already made a big impact in the Six Nations having scored three tries back in the 2021 tournament. In addition, he’s been named the player of the tournament in three of the last four years. 

The Toulouse man is an exceptional playmaker who knows exactly how to control the pace of the game. He has an incredible ability to read the game, make quick decisions and launch devastating counter-attacks. His presence on the field will be crucial for France’s success in this tournament.

Damian Penaud

Damian Penaud is one of France’s versatile wingers and has begun to establish himself in the Les Bleus national team setup. The Bordeaux star is a quick and elusive runner who can out-pace even the fastest defenders, as demonstrated by the mighty 35 tries he’s already racked up in his short career, including six in four games at the recent World Cup. With his elusive running and offloading skills, he can create chances out of nowhere, and the likes of Ireland and England will have to keep him quiet if they wish to rival the French this winter. 

Charles Ollivon

Charles Ollivon is a flanker who was appointed as the captain of the French team ahead of the 2020 instalment of the tournament. He led the team to a second-place finish in his maiden campaign as skipper and has gone from strength to strength in the years since, as evidenced by the fact they won the Grand Slam last year. The 30-year-old powerhouse is a strong defender and is skilled at securing the ball in the scrummage. He’s also a good leader, able to rally his team and keep them focused in high-pressure situations, something the French have sorely missed over the last decade or so. 

All in all, if these three are at their very best, then the French will take some serious stopping. 

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