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'Dreamer' Dupont eyes Paris gold after Top 14 Triumph 

France and Toulouse scrumhalf Antoine Dupont played a starring role yet again for his club as they thrashed Bordeaux-Begles by 59-3 to claim a third Champions Cup and Top 14 title double.

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Dupont pulled the strings and was unplayable at times in the Final – scoring two tries and setting up another, but his focus is now switched to the Paris Olympics which starts in less than a month.

Dupont’s influence in the shorter format of the game has been immense as France won two titles in the HSBC SVNS series when he was involved .

A gold medal for Le Blues would be a historic feat – trumping the woman’s silver medal in Tokyo three years ago.

“I have one week of holidays before I join up with the Olympics squad,” Dupont said after the victory.

“I will enjoy this, rest up to get there with a fresh mind and to be motivated to start again to win something else,” the 2021 World Rugby player of the year added.

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The talented Dupont seemed to peek in early 2022 and haven’t looked back since.

He won Toulouse’s second ever double and the Six Nations with France that same year – their first title in more than a decade.

A few months later he was named the World Rugby player of the year.

The 2023/4 season started with a heartbreaking quarterfinal exit in the 2023 World Cup to eventual champions South Africa.

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He channeled that disappointment and in February 2024, he joined the France sevens team and slotted in with ease on debut in Canada.

He then went on to help break France’s sevens drought by winning their tournament leg title since 2005 in Los Angeles the following week.

He also won the Madrid SVNS title in the last leg of the tournament and scooped the HSBC SVNS Rookie of the Year award after just three tournament leg appearances out of eight.

His two tries in the Top 14 Final equaled his 2021 personal best of 11 tries in a season.

“I think I’ve achieved much more than I could have dreamt of as a child,” Dupont stated after thrashing Bordeaux.

“I have to realise it but not too much as to be able to keep dreaming,” he added.

Dupont became a symbol of the increasingly healthy state of French rugby – with the national side and it’s clubs blossoming.

There’s been a lot of in-fighting between influential clubs such as Toulouse and the French Rugby Federation (FFR) since rugby turned professional after 1995.

To the two parties’ credit – Dupont’s Olympic wish back in 2022 was due to the cooperation between the FFR and Toulouse.

Dupont’s game time was managed as he sat out the 2024 Six Nations campaign and was rested by Toulouse for parts of the season to prioritise his HSBC SVNS obligations.

“What was amazing with what Antoine has done is that we called upon him in a sporadic way throughout the season and every time he’s been with us he was the player he’s capable of being in the big moments,” Toulouse head coach Ugo Mola told reporters after the final.

“I remain convinced that very few players can change their sport, I think in the few years to come he can revolutionise the sport.

“He might be able to have a go at rugby league too?” Mola jokingly added.

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