Eddie Jones snubs Antoine Dupont, picking All Blacks and Springbok as the best in the world

Jared Wright
Antoine Dupont and Japan head coach Eddie Jones.

Eddie Jones has picked out his three best players in the world.

Japan head coach Eddie Jones has not picked Antoine Dupont in his shortlist for the best players in the world.

The Brave Blossoms’ boss was recently asked to select who he thinks are the best players in the world right now with the experienced coach overlooking the France star and highlighting two All Blacks and a Springbok.

Dupont has been dominating headlines recently after a stunning Player of the Match performance in the Investec Champions Cup Final before going on to win the HSBC World SVNS Series with France the next weekend.

However, the ex-England and Wallabies head coach opted for three players who are all based in Japan ahead of the Les Bleus star.

Eddie Jones’ best three players in the world

“In this current generation, three players stand out to me, Ardie Savea is definitely one of them,” Jones said of the All Black in a Rugby Pass TV interview.

“He came in as a light number seven [openside flanker] from sevens and has turned himself into one of the most robust number eights/seven in the world – any team in the world would love to have him.”

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Savea played a season in Japan with the Kobe Steelers after picking up the World Rugby Player of the Year Award in 2023. This, after helping the All Blacks reach the World Cup final.

He is now being tipped as a potential captain for New Zealand following the retirement of veteran lock Sam Whitelock.

While the powerhouse back-rower is clearly one of Jones’ favourites, fellow New Zealander Richie Mo’unaga is another one that the Japan coach holds in high regard.

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The fly-half who starred for the All Blacks during the World Cup is out in the Test wilderness after signing a long-term deal with the Toshiba Brave Lupus, a move that Jones has hailed.

“I love Richie Mo’unga,” Jones said with a grin.

“I love the way he plays, he just wants the ball all the time, takes on the opposition and he’s shown a fair bit of courage to leave the All Blacks and and take on the career in Japan.

“I’m sure, at some stage he’ll go back and play for the All Blacks again. When you look at rugby now, because the players are so much better conditioned and they’ve been looked after so much better, they can play for much longer, and he’s still a young man at 30.”

Finally, Jones picked out a double Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok in Cheslin Kolbe, who is contracted to Suntory Sungoliath.

“This is a bias because I’m the Japan coach now,” Jones admitted.

“But when you see someone like Cheslin Kolbe at 76kgs, and he can play against any team in the world and be effective, it shows you what you can achieve.”

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