Dupont is on another level – All Blacks legend Smith lauds France scrum-half as world's best

By Peter Thompson 11 February 2021 11
Dupont is on another level – All Blacks legend Smith lauds France scrum-half as world's best

Aaron Smith says Antoine Dupont is "on another level" to any other player in the world as the mercurial scrum-half strives to end France's Six Nations title drought.

Dupont tormented Italy in the first match of the tournament, proving four assists – equalling compatriot Frederic Michalak's record for a single Six Nations match – and scoring a try of his own in a 50-10 rout at Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

The playmaker became the seventh man to lay on three or more tries in a game in the competition, also joining Michalak and former number nine Austin Healey as the only players to have been directly involved in five tries in a match in this tournament. 

Dupont was a constant menace to the Azzurri as he pulled the strings in a livewire display before he was given the chance to put his feet up just before the hour mark.

New Zealand scrum-half Smith, who has earned 97 caps and won the Rugby World Cup in 2015, rates the 24-year-old Toulouse pivot as being a cut above any other player on the planet.

Responding to a tweet from the Six Nations official account asking who is the best player in the world, Smith posted: "@Dupont9A this guy is on another level!

"No one is near him atm. He's the point of difference for both his club and country. He's helping me look at parts of my game to improve. #Respect #9Gang"

Ireland will have to keep Dupont quiet at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday when they look to get up and running following a 21-16 defeat to Wales in Cardiff.

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Peter Thompson

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