Frenchman only the second man to win award three times
France captain Antoine Dupont has been named the Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship for the second successive year after topping the fans vote from a shortlist of six.
The scrum-half, 26, joins an elite club of three to have won the award in back-to-back years and is only the second player after Brian O’Driscoll to have won it three times.
Dupont was nominated alongside team-mates Thomas Ramos and Damian Penaud while the Grand Slam-winning Ireland trio of Mack Hansen, Caelan Doris and Hugo Keenan completed the shortlist that was compiled after consulting international media and fans.
Read more: Rugby Fixtures
Some 138,000 fans had their say on who should receive the ultimate prize but Dupont won out with 26% of the vote, to add to his 2022 and 2020 triumphs.
Dupont captained Les Bleus to the Grand Slam in 2022 and although he was only able to steer his side to second place this time around, his individual performances were still sublime and did enough to catch the eye of the voting public.
Read more: Watch the incredible Antoine Dupont tackle on Mack Hansen
O’Driscoll and former Scotland captain Stuart Hogg, who this week announced his intention to retire at the end of the upcoming Rugby World Cup, are the only other two men’s stars to have won the gong in successive seasons.
Hogg reigned supreme in 2016 and 2017 while former Ireland skipper O’Driscoll doubled up in 2006 and 2007 while also winning in 2009.
Related: Hogg to retire after World Cup
Stephen O’Kelly, Global Brand Director, Diageo, commented: “Following an incredible Guinness Six Nations Championship, the team at Diageo would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Antoine Dupont, this year’s Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship.
“Antoine was never far away from France’s best plays this season, keeping them in the battle for the title, and we hope he enjoys this richly deserved achievement and recognition.”
Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.
Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.