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France scrumhalf Dupont wins the 6 Nations best player award

PARIS (AP) — Scrumhalf Antoine Dupont has become the first Frenchman chosen as the Six Nations Championship's best player, the tournament said Friday.

The 23-year-old Dupont headed a shortlist of six nominees, including teammates Romain Ntamack and Gregory Alldritt. The others were England teammates Maro Itoje and Ben Youngs, and Ireland backrower CJ Stander.

The Six Nations did not give Dupont's winning margin, but the French Rugby Federation said he secured 46% of 44,000 public votes.

The diminutive but stocky Dupont stood out with his bursts of speed from the back of the scrum, his perceptive passing and support running.

His 249 metres gained with ball in hand and 54 kicks for 1,543 metres were more than any other scrumhalf, and he led all players with 12 offloads.

Dupont scored France's first try in last Saturday's 35-27 win over Ireland, which helped the French finish in second place behind England.

His halves pairing with Ntamack is now considered among the most exciting in world rugby.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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