The France scrum-half tops our list of the 100 best players in the world right now


Antoine Dupont named world’s best player by Rugby World 

Antoine Dupont is the world’s best player. That’s according to the new issue of Rugby World magazine, which features our biennial countdown of the 100 best players in the world right now.

The France scrum-half has topped Rugby World’s 2021 list after a standout year. He has helped Toulouse complete a European Champions Cup and Top 14 double as well as captained France during a successful autumn series, which included beating the All Blacks on home soil for the first time since 2009.

When we last compiled the list in mid-2019, Dupont was ranked 47th and the fact he has rocketed to top spot demonstrates how central he has been to France’s improvement over the past couple of years.

As former Scotland fly-half Rory Lawson says: “He just doesn’t have any weaknesses. There’s no flaw in any part of his game.”

So how does Rugby World compile the ultimate list of the 100 best players in the world? The key rules are that current form is given precedence and, as we’re comparing players across formats, positions and genders – a tough task – we look at influence within their teams as well as skill-set.

We seek the opinions of writers from across the globe as well as a few international coaches and players. Then we bring together an expert panel to debate who should be on it, with a vote to determine the top ten.

Wasps Women DoR Giselle Mather, BBC rugby correspondent Chris Jones, Welsh broadcaster Lauren Jenkins, Sportsbeat chief sports writer Paul Eddison and our columnist Stephen Jones joined us for the selection meeting at the start of November – with a few players making a late charge for the list given their performances in the autumn Tests.

Here are our panellists putting their case for different players to be in contention for top spot…

Antoine Dupont has been named the world’s best player by Rugby World, but who else features in the top five? There are two Wallabies in Michael Hooper and Taniela Tupou while England lock Maro Itoje is ranked third and New Zealand back-row Ardie Savea is second.

Red Roses wing Abby Dow is the highest-ranked female player in 11th while Jerry Tuwai, in 16th, is the top sevens player.

Fourteen different nationalities are featured in the top 100, with players aged 20 to 36. To find out who makes our list of the 100 best players in the world right now get a copy of the new edition of Rugby World magazine.

Related: Free 2022 calendar with Rugby World 100 best players edition

Rugby World’s 100 Best Players in the World Right Now – Top 20

1. Antoine Dupont

2. Ardie Savea

3. Maro Itoje

4. Michael Hooper

5. Taniela Tupou

6. Aaron Smith

7. Lukhanyo Am

8. Cheslin Kolbe

9. Tom Curry

10. Sam Whitelock

11. Abby Dow

12. Brodie Retallick

13. Rose Bernadou

14. Beauden Barrett

15. Richie Mo’unga

16. Jerry Tuwai

17. Eben Etzebeth

18. Hamish Watson

19. Courtney Lawes

20. Josh Adams

Of course, we want to know what YOU think of our top 100. Use #RW100 on Twitter and Instagram, get in touch via Facebook or email

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