Siya Kolisi praises ‘one in many generations’ superstar Antoine Dupont

Dylan Coetzee
Split with Antoine Dupont (Toulouse) and Siya Kolisi.

Split with Antoine Dupont (Toulouse) and Siya Kolisi.

Racing 92 star man Siya Kolisi praised Antoine Dupont and Toulouse ahead of their round of 16 tie in the Champions Cup this weekend.

Dupont has recently returned to Toulouse after spending time with the France Sevens team as he gears up for the Olympics later this year.

His transition into the faster format of the game has been something to behold as he inspired his country to their first title in 19 years when they won in Los Angeles earlier this year.

He could play anywhere

The Frenchman could be turning out at fly-half for Toulouse this weekend, where he has shone for the side in the past.

Kolisi is well aware of Dupont’s ability on the field and believes that it does not matter what number is on his back.

“He’s a natural, gifted rugby player. His mind and the way he sees the game is absolutely different,” Kolisi said.

“You have to be aware of everything. I think he’s an amazing player, he’s one in many generations.

“He can play anywhere on the field, I’ve always said that.”

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Kolisi, who may be forced to relinquish the Springboks captaincy, makes his return from a thumb injury for the clash.

The inspirational flanker acknowledged the history of Toulouse, who lead the way for most Champions Cups won, but relished the chance to face up to them.

“So much history”

“They set the standard in the French league, so much history,” Kolisi said.

“It’s a perfect opportunity for us to see what we can do against them.”

Kolisi’s Racing teammate, Nolann Le Garrec, shone brightly for France in Dupont’s absence during the Six Nations but unfortunately will miss the game through concussion.

“I’m very sad for him, it’s tough, he’s a great player, he’s very important for us but it’s an opportunity for someone else,” Kolisi said.

“A competition is never won by 23 players, it’s always won by a squad.

“Hopefully he gets better and is back on the field as soon as possible.”

READ MORE: Form guide: How every Investec Champions Cup last-16 club has fared recently