Antoine Dupont hails ‘precise’ Shaun Edwards and his contribution to their Six Nations victory.

Antoine Dupont hails 'precise' Shaun Edwards and his contribution to their Six Nations victory.

After winning their first Grand Slam in 12 years, France captain and magical leader Antoine Dupont believes Shaun Edwards’ influence as a defensive coach is critical to his team.

Edwards has been crucial in Les Bleus’ comeback, with the former Wales coach joining the team after the 2019 World Cup and bringing grit to their attacking brilliance.

It resulted in their first title since 2010, when they overcame England, with Dupont putting in an outstanding individual effort, particularly without the ball, as he completed 15 tackles.

However, France’s defense genius has failed to fully recognize this, with one cherished prize still eluding the scrum-half.

“We’ve not had our debrief yet so I’ve not been able to get it, but I hope that at our next meet-up, I will. He’s not wanted to give me the award for best defender so far since he’s been with us!” Dupont told the Independent.

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Having won three Grand Slams with Wales, Edwards’ tally is now up to four and Dupont has enjoyed working with the Englishman.

“Shaun is precise on what he wants and knows exactly what he wants on the pitch. With his experience and his record, everyone listens,” Dupont said.

“You could see the very start that he gave the scrum-half a relatively free role, and they would get a lot of interceptions. That is what I used to do a lot but now he has changed his view on it, and I defend a bit wider out, maybe in the style of a centre which gives us an extra three-quarter in the defensive line.”

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Dupont took over the captaincy from the injured Charles Ollivon and said he took English lessons to help his approach to referees.

“I think we have gained in maturity and experience. It’s almost the same team as two years ago so we have learned a lot over the last two campaigns,” he added.

“On the whole, we were, and still are, a young team that is building. Going from there, you learn every day and some of those games in the Six Nations, we might not have won in previous years or not in the same way.”

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