France scrumhalf Dupont named Six Nations player of the championship

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - France v Ireland - Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France - October 31, 2020 France’s Antoine Dupont scores their first try REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

(Reuters) - Scrumhalf Antoine Dupont was voted the Six Nations Player of the Championship on Friday, becoming the first Frenchman to pick up the award in the history of the competition.

Dupont recorded one try and four assists as his blistering runs in the open field threatened defences throughout the competition.

The 23-year-old finished with a tournament-high 12 offloads and made 249 metres with ball in hand -- more than any other scrumhalf in the competition.

France fell agonisingly short of the title, with England triumphing on points difference, but Dupont garnered 46% of the votes for the individual honour.

Dupont topped a six-man shortlist that also included team mates Gregory Alldritt, Romain Ntamack, England duo Maro Itoje and Ben Youngs and Ireland’s CJ Stander.

“His talent clearly transcended borders with fans from all six unions giving him their support in huge numbers,” said Ben Morel, chief executive of Six Nations Rugby.

“To win this award at such a young age is quite some accomplishment. Bravo Antoine!”

England centre Emily Scarratt was named the inaugural women’s Six Nations Player of the Championship after she played an influential role in her team’s successful Grand Slam campaign.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge