Dupont trains with head shield before quarter-final against SA


France’s hopes that captain Antoine Dupont will be fit enough to face South Africa in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final this weekend received a boost on Wednesday when the scrum-half trained with a head shield for the second consecutive day.

The 26-year-old Dupont was given the green light earlier this week to return to full contact sessions after an operation on his cracked cheekbone during the group match against Namibia on 21 September.

Dupont, who is expected to play for the host country against the Springboks on Sunday, tested the protection for the first time on Tuesday in the leafy Paris suburb of Ruel-Malmaison.

“We wanted to see if it had an impact on his vision,” attack coach Laurent Labit said for the Roosters on Tuesday. “We also wanted to test his hearing with the head shield, even if the (training ground) Rueil-Malmaison doesn’t have the same sound or atmosphere as Stade de France. “A decision will be made by the end of the week,” he added.

The Roosters will announce their team for the fight on Friday.