BOD gives his take on ‘clear cut’ world player of the year winner
Brian O’Driscoll has said that “there’s never been a more clear cut World Rugby player of the year” than France’s Antoine Dupont.
The Ireland legend said this following France’s stunning 40-25 victory over the Rugby Championship winners the All Blacks in Paris on Saturday, where Dupont was at the heart of the action.
The scrum-half is on a shortlist alongside Maro Itoje, Michael Hooper and Samu Kerevi for the award in which it is a public vote, and O’Driscoll only believes there is one winner.
Itoje had a standout year for the British & Irish Lions against South Africa, being named the player of the series, while Hooper’s level has never seemed to drop, but it is hard to argue with what Dupont has achieved in both accolades and performances. He was named European player of the year after guiding Toulouse to a Heineken Champions Cup and Top 14 double, but anyone just needs to watch one match of his to appreciate the influence he has on a game. It is probably for those reasons that O’Driscoll thinks he should win the award, also describing him as “unreal this year”.
Only Richie McCaw and Dan Carter have been nominated for player of the year more than O’Driscoll, yet the former centre never won. While the shortlists in the past have been loaded with some of the greatest players of all time, O’Driscoll clearly thinks Dupont stands head and shoulders above his rivals. That is of course not to say that Itoje, Hooper and Kerevi are not great players.
Dupont’s chances of winning the award (which will be announced in December) would have been boosted after guiding France to their first win over the All Blacks in twelve years. Then again, Itoje was equally as pivotal in England’s win over the world number ones South Africa earlier that Saturday. Both players made convincing cases over the weekend, but there is only one winner for O’Driscoll.
In my opinion I reckon there’s never been a more clear cut @WorldRugby player of the year than DuPont. He’s been unreal this year.
— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) November 20, 2021