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Antoine Dupont rewarded for impressive year with Rugby Union Writers' Club award

By Paul Smith
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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France scrum-half Antoine Dupont has been voted the Rugby Union Writers’ Club’s personality of the year for 2021.

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Dupont succeeds Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter as holder of the Pat Marshall Memorial Award following an outstanding 12 months for Les Bleus and Toulouse, the club he helped to a Heineken Champions Cup and Top 14 double.

The current World Rugby player of the year has continued to redefine scrum-half play through the excellence of his running and kicking games, generalship and defence.

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The 25-year-old has also emerged as a leader for France, captaining them last autumn in a successful series that included a first home victory over New Zealand since 2009.

Dupont follows in the footsteps of greats of the game to have been acclaimed by the RUWC such as Gareth Edwards, Jonah Lomu, Martin Johnson, Jonny Wilkinson, Brian O’Driscoll, Maggie Alphonsi and Dan Carter.

France hope that their star scrum half will have recovered from a knee injury in time to play a part in the Six Nations.

The Stade Toulouse no.9 has missed plenty of action in recent weeks, but after being named in his country’s Six Nations squad was reported to be close to making a comeback.

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However, with his club’s European Champions Cup visit to Cardiff falling victim to a controversial COVID cancellation, Dupont was unable to make his first appearance of 2022.

Les Bleus will be handed a significant boost should the outstanding playmaker be able to play a full part in their preparations for the tournament ahead of France’s opening clash with Italy which takes place on Sunday February 6th.

Dupont captained France for the first time in the autumn in Charles Ollivon’s absence and could continue with the armband given that the regular skipper is absent from Fabien Galthie’s squad while making a long-term recovery from knee problems.

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