How it started – how it’s going. Those six words have gripped social media of late and Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship Antoine Dupont is the latest to turn the clock back and show his followers where it all began.
The 23-year-old took to Twitter on Tuesday evening to share images from the start of his journey, when he was a rugby-mad youngster growing up in the village of Castelnau-Magnoac, and now, where he stands with his Player of the Championship trophy
It could have all been so different not long after the first picture – which shows Dupont holding a signed rugby ball, perhaps already looking like someone eyeing up their next pinpoint pass – was taken.
A young Dupont toyed with trying football despite standing out on the rugby field, before ultimately decided to stick with the oval ball. And how French fans are grateful that he did.
Dupont picked up the Player of the Championship prize after receiving 46 per cent of the public vote from a shortlist of six nominated players – which included two of his French teammates, Romain Ntamack and Gregory Alldritt.
The scrum-half played an integral role in helping France to four wins from five Championship matches, ensuring a second-placed finish for Fabien Galthie’s side, and spoke earlier this week about looking to build on their 2020 displays.
“We know where we’ve come from. This year we didn’t expect to challenge for the top spots, even if there was ambition,” he said.
“It’s given us a taste of victory and we always want more, but there is work to do.
“There will be some very good teams next year, as there are every year, so it will be tough.”
The next challenge for Dupont and this exciting French team is the Autumn Nations Cup, which they begin against Fiji on Sunday.
France also take on Scotland and Italy in Group B before Finals weekend in December.