In a recent match at Stade Vélodrome in Marseille, the French rugby team's performance against Ireland highlighted the critical role of the Dupont-Ntamack pairing. The French team, known as Les Bleus, faced a significant defeat against Ireland, ending with a score of 17-38. This loss followed another upset against South Africa, emphasizing the notable absence of players Romain Ntamack and Antoine Dupont. Ntamack is currently recovering from a ligament injury sustained before the World Cup, while Dupont is focusing on rugby sevens in preparation for the Paris Olympics, leading to their non-participation in this match.
Their absence has had a noticeable impact on the team's performance. The Dupont-Ntamack duo has been a key combination for coach Fabien Galthié since 2019, starting together in 27 matches. When they are playing, the French team boasts an 86% win rate, which drops to 71% in their absence.
Former international French player Yann Delaigue shared with L’Equipe newspaper that their absence clearly affects the team's play. He emphasized the exceptional value of both players, noting that one is considered the best in the world and the other the best in his position. However, Dimitri Yachvili offers a different perspective. He suggested that even with Dupont and Ntamack, France might have struggled against Ireland. He believes that the outcome heavily depends on the team's overall performance and pointed out that the absence of Sexton in the Irish team did not stop them from scoring five tries.