Ireland vs France: Antoine Dupont faces Conor Murray in key battle

France’s Antoine Dupont and experienced Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray are set to go up against each other during Sunday’s Six Nations clash in Dublin.

Les Bleus are seeking to build on a resounding 50-10 victory over Italy, while the Irish are bidding to bounce back after a frustrating 21-16 loss to Wales.

We take a closer look at one of the key duels that could help determine the outcome at the Aviva Stadium.

Conor Murray – Ireland

A veteran of three World Cups, two British and Irish Lions tours and a trio of Six Nations titles, Murray’s career is at a far more advanced stage than that of Dupont.

The evergreen Munster man has been a permanent fixture for Ireland for almost a decade as part of a long-standing half-back partnership with skipper Johnny Sexton, and has consistently delivered.

He is a calming presence for his country, a pinpoint kicker and among the world’s best passers. While Murray offers numerous areas of expertise, it is perhaps quick, decisive thinking which sets him apart from other scrum-halves.

Antoine Dupont – France

Diminutive in stature, quick-thinking Dupont is capable of a moment of magic every time he touches the ball. The classy 24-year-old is arguably the sport’s leading number nine and, based on current form, considered in some quarters to be the best player on the planet.

The #GuinnessSixNations 'Player Of The Round' for round 1 is… 🥁@Dupont9A!
Pure class 👏 pic.twitter.com/xVcptle84t

He became the first French winner of the Six Nations Player of the Championship in 2020 and his eye-catching performances continued in Saturday’s thumping win in Rome.

The creative Toulouse man possesses electric line-breaking abilities, accurate kicking skills, supreme self-confidence and should remain a focal point for Les Bleus for many years to come.

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