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Brian O’Driscoll names his ‘clear cut’ World Rugby player of the year

Brian O'Driscoll

Brian O’Driscoll has named Antoine Dupont as his “clear cut” World Rugby player of the year after France’s win against New Zealand.

Dupont was named as one of four nominees for the World Rugby player of the year award, alongside Australia’s Michael Hooper and Samu Kerevi, as well as England’s Maro Itoje.

The winner of the award will be decided by a public vote, while the four players nominated were selected by a panel of former international players, which included O’Driscoll himself.

The Ireland legend has now revealed who he voted for, arguing that there has never been such an obvious choice for the award since it was first handed out back in 2001.

“In my opinion I reckon there’s never been a more clear cut World Rugby player of the year than DuPont. He’s been unreal this year,” O’Driscoll tweeted.

Dupont has been exceptional for France, and he may well win the award, although Michael Hooper could certainly argue that he has a decent claim at being the world’s best player this year.

Antoine Dupont and Michael Hooper look to be the most likely winners.

Both Kerevi and Itoje are exceptional players, although it’s fair to say that they haven’t produced world class performances for their countries on enough occasions this year.

Kerevi was excellent in every match he played for the Wallabies, however he only played in five of their fourteen tests this year, having pulled out of Australia’s northern tour due to club commitments.

Itoje was named as the British and Irish Lions’ best player on their tour of South Africa, and has kept up his good form for England in the Autumn Nations Series, but was nowhere near his best in the Six Nations.

Hooper has missed just one of Australia’s matches this year, and was exceptional for his country whether they were winning or losing in what was a mixed season for the Wallabies.

Dupont is certainly more flashy than Hooper and excels more in attack, while the Australia captain saves his team time and time in defence.

Either man would be a worthy winner of the award, although as it is being decided by a public vote, it is entirely possible that neither will be rewarded for their efforts this year.

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