‘If Dupont wasn’t on the planet, we’d say this guy’s the best No9’

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Being the second-best scrum-half in the world behind Antoine Dupont probably means that in any other era, you would be the best.

The Frenchman is held in such high regard by his peers that all other No9s can only really strive for the ‘best of the rest’ accolade, as they are competing with one of the greatest players of all time. But that does not detract from the other class acts that are in the game currently in the No9 jersey, as Dan Biggar pointed out recently.

The former Wales captain singled out Ireland and Leinster scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park as the best player in the world at scrum-half behind Dupont recently on The Rugby Pod. 

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That came off the back of a hat-trick for the 32-year-old at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday against Leicester Tigers in the round of 16 in the Investec Champions Cup.

Though the New Zealand-born halfback is a different player to Dupont and possesses a different skillset, Biggar highlighted the control that he has on games, and how his role has grown since the retirement of Johnny Sexton at fly-half.

Match Summary

“With Johnny [Sexton] retiring,” he said.

“Clearly he was the focal point of everything Leinster and Ireland did. But now you’ve got Jack Crowley at Ireland and you’ve got Ross Byrne at Leinster, who are clearly very experienced, but they probably look to Jamison Gibson-Park a little bit more for direction on the field.

“They probably look to him and say ‘right, what’s the option here?’ Rather than having a Johnny-type figure running the whole ship.

“For me, what’s more impressive about him – because Leinster play so many attacking phases and they move the ball – it is his error count. His error count is so low. Normally when you’ve got lots of ball and lots of play, you are going to make errors. But for me, he just takes the right decision.

“Taking the short side for his second try at the weekend, just the ability when to go back to James Lowe.

“If Antoine Dupont wasn’t on this planet, then we’d be saying this guy’s the best No9 in the world by a mile.”

Read More: ‘If Dupont wasn’t on the planet, we’d say this guy’s the best No9’ 2024-04-11 16:46:51

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