Antoine Dupont will once again have to make room on his shelf. The scrum half from Toulouse and the XV of France continues to reap rewards. Monday evening, he was named best player in the Top 14 and best Blue of last season during Rugby Night in Paris.
Aged 27, Antoine Dupont (52 caps) had already signed this same double two years ago. “It obviously validates the work and the fact of not just having a good season but of managing to string them together,” he reacted after receiving his trophies during the ceremony organized at the Olympia.
An undeniable best French international
In the Top 14, he succeeds Montpellier’s English third row Zach Mercer, crowned best player in the championship last season and has since moved to Gloucester. The No.9 from Stade Toulouse also won the title of best French international for the third time in a row, this year ahead of La Rochelle third row Grégory Alldritt and Clermont and then Bordeaux-Bègles winger Damian Penaud.
“Having the recognition of your peers, whether it’s the other players who elect me, it’s true that it means a lot and it’s always nice to feel recognized by the people we play against every weekend” , added Antoine Dupont.
A leading figure in French rugby, captain of the Bleus quarter-finalists of the 2023 World Cup, “AD9” will join, from January, the group which will prepare the rugby sevens event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, making is skipping the next edition of the Six Nations Tournament.
Toulouse at the party
It is therefore also a prosperous evening for Toulouse. The Rouge et Noir, reigning French champions, completed their raid with the best staff trophy, awarded to Ugo Mola, Laurent Thuéry, Clément Poitrenaud and Jean Bouilhou. Then that of the best try, scored by the opening half Romain Ntamack, in the final of the Top 14, in front of La Rochelle (29-26), at the end of a crazy race.
Oyonnax pillar Thomas Laclayat, who joined Racing 92 this summer, was named best player in Pro D2 while young Pau center Émilien Gailleton was the revelation of last season. Blagnac center Gabrielle Vernier, who was named one of World Rugby’s best players of the year, won the title of best international.
The winners of Rugby Night 2023
Best player in the Top 14 : Antoine Dupont (Toulouse)
Best Pro D2 player : Thomas Laclayat (Oyonnax then Racing 92)
Revelation of the year : Émilien Gailleton (Pau)
Best French international player : Antoine Dupont (Toulouse)
Best Supersevens Player : Esteban Capilla (Bayonne)
Best French international player : Gabrielle Vernier (Blagnac)
Referee of the year : Mathieu Raynal
Best staff of the Top 14 : Toulouse (Mola, Bouilhou, Poitrenaud, Thuéry)
Best Pro D2 staff : Oyonnax (El Abd, Cibray, Codling, Debaty)
Best try : Romain Ntamack (Toulouse), against La Rochelle