Antoine Dupont steps down from rugby union following Champions Cup final with Toulouse - Page 2 of 2 - Ruck

Antoine Dupont steps down from rugby union following Champions Cup final with Toulouse

#10. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

An exceptional tighthead prop, Furlong’s scrummaging prowess and mobility set him apart. His ability to contribute in open play, both as a ball-carrier and in support, makes him a well-rounded force in Ireland’s forward pack.

#9.  Bundee Aki (Ireland)

A contender for player of the 2023 World Cup by the end of the group stage because of his barnstorming runs, power in the tackle and work over the ball. Aki possess the rare skill of being able to generate tremendous power from a standing start, even against defence as robust as South Africa’s. He is quick too.

#8.  Pablo Matera (Argentina)

Matera’s leadership as a dynamic flanker is central to Argentina’s efforts. His aggressive ball-carrying, breakdown skills, and defensive tenacity inspire his team. A player whose passion and commitment set the tone on the field.

#7. Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)

An iconic figure in New Zealand rugby, Barrett’s versatility as a fly-half/fullback amplifies his impact. Renowned for his attacking brilliance, kicking precision, and spatial awareness, he is a linchpin in the All Blacks’ strategies.

#6. Maro Itoje (England)

For numerous years, Maro Itoje has been a pivotal force in England’s forward lineup. Renowned for his exceptional athleticism and astute game sense, Itoje excels in the lineout and commands a formidable presence during open play. His proficiency in disrupting the opponent’s possession, coupled with his relentless work ethic across the field, solidifies his status as a crucial asset for the England team. The early game statistics underscore his significant impact, with an impressive tally of turnovers won and tackles made, further emphasising his influence.

#5. Eben Eztebeth (South Africa)

A towering lock, Etzebeth’s physicality and presence anchor South Africa’s forward pack. His lineout expertise, ball-carrying power, and confrontational play style make him a formidable force on the field.

Eben Etzebeth, Captain of Hollywoodbets Sharks is tackled by Arthur Clark of Gloucester Rugby during the Challenge Cup Final Match between Gloucester Rugby and Hollywoodbets Sharks at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 24 May 2024. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

#4. Richie Mo’unga (New Zealand)

New Zealand’s dynamic fly-half, Mo’unga’s playmaking brilliance and kicking precision shape the All Blacks’ attack. His creative passes, tactical kicks, and ability to read defenses make him a pivotal force in orchestrating New Zealand’s gameplay.

#3. Grégory Alldritt (France)

France’s formidable number 8, Alldritt’s powerful ball-carrying and breakdown skills define his impact. His ability to create momentum with every touch, coupled with his tenacious defensive efforts, solidify his position as a driving force in France’s forward pack.

#2. Ardie Savea (New Zealand)

An explosive back-rower, Savea’s versatility and aggression set him apart. His breakdown dominance, ball-carrying strength, and defensive tenacity make him a vital asset for the All Blacks. A player whose intensity shapes both set pieces and open play.

Ardie Savea of New Zealand during the Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and South Africa at Stade De France, Paris, France on 28 October 2023 (Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK)

#1. Antoine Dupont (France)

France’s exceptional scrum-half, Dupont’s speed, vision, and tactical acumen drive his team’s rhythm. His precise passing, evasive running, and astute decision-making make him a linchpin in orchestrating France’s attack. A player who dictates the game’s tempo with finesse.

Wales Online wrote: “The France captain is widely regarded as the best player on the planet. Former world player of the year Dupont is the complete scrum-half and has the ability to win a game of rugby almost single-handedly. 

“If he brings his A game France have a great chance of lifting the Williams Webb-Ellis Cup on home soil this autumn.”