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Jack Willis calls Antoine Dupont ‘best of all time’ after leading Toulouse to Champions Cup glory

Toulouse, captained by Antoine Dupont, lifted the Champions Cup for the sixth time (Getty Images)


Toulouse, captained by Antoine Dupont, lifted the Champions Cup for the sixth time (Getty Images)

Toulouse, captained by Antoine Dupont, lifted the Champions Cup for the sixth time (Getty Images)

Jack Willis has hailed Antoine Dupont as the “best rugby player of all time” after the scrum half led Toulouse to Champions Cup glory.

Dupont dazzled in attack and defence at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as the French side outlasted Leinster to secure their sixth European crown.

The 27-year-old beat six defenders and kicked superbly from hand, but it was his efforts on the other side of the ball that embodied a remarkable defensive performance from Ugo Mola’s men.

Dupont, who will chase Olympic gold in sevens at Paris 2024 this summer, won four turnovers during the course of a 100-minute epic, underlining his status as the best male player on the planet.

And teammate Willis, himself outstanding in the win, went one step further in his praise of the half back.

“As far as I have seen, he’s probably the best rugby player of all time,” the flanker effused of Dupont, who was named Investec Player of the Year.

Antoine Dupont starred as Toulouse secured a sixth European crown (Getty Images)

Antoine Dupont starred as Toulouse secured a sixth European crown (Getty Images)

“I think he made three or four turnovers. He can do everything, he’s a hell of a player. The way he kicked and moved us into their part of the field was really important.

“You don’t win trophies without defence and we know that. The attack comes quite naturally to this group. We know that against a team like Leinster they are so organised, so structured in attack and they will just go after you again and again and again. We were really under the pump but we stuck together and managed to get there in the end.”

The Champions Cup win is Willis’ second trophy since arriving in Toulouse late in 2022 after the demise of Wasps, with the 14-cap England international influential in securing the Top 14 title last year.

The 27-year-old’s international career is on hold with players based overseas ineligible for selection.

Barring a change in policy, Willis would have to return to the Premiership to come under consideration for Steve Borthwick, but the back row is loving life in the south of France.

“The last couple of years, there have been lots of lows with Wasps and not playing as much as I would have wanted in certain games, so to be welcomed in here, I can’t tell you how grateful I am.

Jack Wilis described Champions Cup triumph as a dream come true (Getty Images)

Jack Wilis described Champions Cup triumph as a dream come true (Getty Images)

“After leaving Wasps, there were a lot of emotions. Trying to deal with joining another club in England is a hard thing. No one probably realises how difficult that is. I think I probably escaped a little bit being out here at being at such a great club where we have had the chance to win a Top 14 and a Champions Cup.

“I have been welcomed in a group that have shown nothing but respect to me and welcome me in with open arms. If you had asked me two years ago that I would be winning a Champions Cup, I would have thought that you were mental.

“When you are a young lad, you dream of winning something in England or winning a European Cup. I have dreamt of winning this trophy since I was a little boy. I was still on the pitch thinking we have just played 100 minutes against Leinster, probably the team to beat over the last couple of years, to win a European final. I can’t put that into words.”



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