France scrum-half Antoine Dupont has been named World Rugby Men's Player of the Year, it was announced on Friday, beating out Australia's Michael Hooper and Samu Kerevi, as well as England's Mauro Itoje, to the award.
The 25-year-old enjoyed a stunning year, notably completing a superb European Champions Cup and Top 14 double with Toulouse. He also captained France this autumn as they claimed a landmark victory over New Zealand, their first 2009 and first home win over the All Blacks since 2000.
Dupont received two-thirds of the public vote to become the first Frenchman to win the award since Thierry Dusautoir in 2011.
The scrum-half was the only French player to be named in the men's World Team of the Year, alongside players such as South Africa's Siya Kolisi, New Zealand's Beauden Barrett and Scotland's Stuart Hogg.
"I have lots of feelings and emotions mixed together," Dupont said. "We think about all the steps we've taken, how we started when we were four or five years old in the field to get to this point. Even if it is not an end in itself, it is still a great reward."
MEN'S WORLD TEAM OF THE YEAR:
Wyn Jones (Wales), Malcolm Marx (South Africa), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Maro Itoje (England), Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), Siya Kolisi (South Africa), Michael Hooper (Australia), Ardie Savea (New Zealand), Antoine Dupont (France), Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), Makazole Mapimpi (South Africa), Samu Kerevi (Australia), Lukhanyo Am (South Africa), Will Jordan (New Zealand), Stuart Hogg (Scotland).