EXCLUSIVE: Antoine Dupont is on a "different planet" to everyone else
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Antoine Dupont is near untouchable right now, and fellow scrum half Danny Care believes that the France number nine is on 'another planet' to everyone else.
Last Saturday afternoon at Twickenham it was difficult, as an Englishman, to be too annoyed at what one had just seen on the pitch.
Sure, England were absolutely decimated 50-13 by France, with Steve Borthwick's side looking shell shocked by the end of it, but, to look at the positives, it was a special performance from Les Bleus.
At the centre of everything good that the visitors to 'HQ' did, and there was a lot of it, Dupont was the architect and looked totally unstoppable.
The Toulouse star has been impressing Care since the pair met in the European Champions Cup in 2015, "He is a joke. He's playing the game on a different planet to the rest of us," the 36-year-old told SPORTbible exclusively.
"I'll always remember the first time I came came up against him. We were playing against Castres, for Harlequins, and I'll always remember Chris Robshaw doing one of his inspiring team talks.
"He said, 'Lads look at their scrum half. He looks like he doesn't want to be there. Let's get after him, because he looks like a young lad.'
"And within 10 minutes, he took this quick tap he bumped Robshaw, stepped round Nick Evans, handed off Nick Easter and scored a try under the posts. And Robshaw shouts, 'Watch out for the nine lads. He looks pretty decent!"
"I remember that day and I was like, 'That nine was so strong.' I remember hitting him and thinking normally you hit a scrum off, he goes down because you're all pretty little. He was so powerful, like built like a brick.
"I've been just blown away by, firstly, how amazing he is but, then secondly, how consistent he is.
"Like it's every game, he doesn't have a bad game, you keep thinking 'maybe he's gonna have a bit of a shocker one time' but he just doesn't.
"He does everything you'd want from a whole rugby player, not just to scrum half, he's got the skill sets to play any position on the pitch and it's brilliant to see a nine repping it being the best in the world."
Perhaps the highlight of the 26-year-old's game was the 50:22 that set up one of France's tries, as he spotted the space that the hosts had left.
Care told us it was 'no fluke' and that Dupont has worked hard on kicking with his left foot to make sure he could pull it off, but it was the mixture of vision and execution that impressed his rival number nine most.
"I was up in a nice higher perch, seeing the space. And I think that's when you know, like world class players are the ones that, see it there and then.
"The thing I love about him the most is he scans so quickly. He sees what he wants to do.
"Not many players have he vision and the execution to pull it off but he's he's got both and I think that's what sets him apart from being a good player to like, exceptional world class players. And he's that and more."
You can't help but feel somewhat for Wales, who have to find a way to stop the France star, pretty much everyone else has failed to do it so far.
Grab tickets here and join Danny Care this Saturday 18th March, for the ultimate screening of the Rugby Championship at the Guinness Six Nations Super Saturday Fan Festival at HERE at Outernet.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Rugby, Rugby Union, France