Springbok winger, Cheslin Kolbe, praised Antoine Dupont, a former Toulouse teammate, claiming he was “by far” the best player in 2021.
Dupont was crowned World Rugby Player of the Year for 2021, beating up Michael Hooper, Samu Kerevi, and Maro Itoje, who were all nominated.
Kolbe, who many consider to be among the finest in the world, had no shortage of world-class teammates last year, with five of his Springbok teammates named to World Rugby’s dream squad.
However, the South African winger agreed with World Rugby’s decision for player of the year, telling SA Rugby Mag that Toulouse and France scrum-half Dupont deserved the award
Springboks winger Cheslin Kolbe speaks about Antoine Dupont.
“I have had the privilege to play alongside him at Toulouse and he is an unbelievable and gifted talent,” Kolbe said.
“He is a player that can basically do anything you ask of him and he makes it look so easy. I am just delighted for him to be named player of the year. I think he really deserved it and was the outstanding player by far.
“Looking at the way he performed, he definitely set the standard now for players, not just in the local competitions but across the world the way he has performed.
“It just now for us to measure ourselves against the best player in the world and be consistent in that too.”
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Kolbe and Dupont won the Top 14 and the Heineken Champions Cup together at Toulouse last season, but their partnership came to an end when the South African winger joined Toulon at the start of the season.
The two can now expect to face off in the Top 14 and international rugby, with France hosting South Africa in the Autumn Nations Series this November.
Last year, Dupont won the World Rugby Player of the Year title, but Kolbe is certain to remain a contender for the sport’s greatest individual honor in the coming years.
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