2024 Leinster Rugby vs Stade Toulousain - Champions Cup Final

Who Are The Best Rugby Players In The World? Three Are In The EPCR Final

Who Are The Best Rugby Players In The World? Three Are In The EPCR Final

FloRugby reporter Philip Bendon gave his five best rugby players in the world, and it includes Antoine Dupont and more Investec Champions Cup Final players

May 21, 2024 by Joe Harrington
Antoine Dupont First Try vs Harlequins

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Some of the best rugby players in the world have competed in the 2024 Investec Champions Cup season. 

According to one ruby expert, three of the five best players will be in action on at 9:45 a.m. Eastern on May 25 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London in the Investec Champions Cup Final.

FloRugby analyst and reporter Philip Bendon, a longtime rugby reporter who also works with World Rugby, said that the Investec Champions Cup Final between Leinster Rugby and Toulouse, or Stade Toulousain, will include three of the world’s five best active rugby players and possibly the greatest player of the professional era. 

Bendon revealed his five top players in the world, regardless of domestic league ahead of the 2024 EPCR Challenge Cup and Investec Champions Cup finals. His list includes players from the United Rugby Championship, the Top 14 and Japan Rugby League One. 

This isn’t to be confused with the highest-paid rugby players in the world. That top spot belongs to Scottish superstar and Bath Rugby fly-half Finn Russell. The 30-year-old star signed with Bath Rugby last offseason for a reported $1.3 million per-season contract. 

While Russell is extremely talented, he’s not in Bendon’s top five. 

Here are the top five rugby players in the world according to Bendon as three of them prepare to play in the Investec Champions Cup. 

This is alphabetical order.  

Antoine Dupont, Toulouse Rugby, Scrumhalf

The 27-year-old Antoine Dupont just may be the best player in the world and more, Bendon said. 

“Antoine Dupont is possibly the greatest player of the past decade and will possibly end his career as the best of the professional era,” Bendon said of the French star. “Based purely on individual talent he is on a par with the great All Black duo of Dan Carter and Richie McCaw in my personal opinion.”

Using an incredible athletic ability, Bendon said Dupont can leave teams defenseless when on the attack. 

“At times Dupont is simply unplayable,” said Bendon in the most flattering terms. “And (he) is quite possibly the best trail runner in the game meaning he is always close to the action to either make a key run, deliver a timely pass or finish off a move himself.”

Dupont has already led Toulouse to the Champions Cup Final, in 2021, and last year led Stade Toulousain to the Top 14 title. In 2022, Dupont helped France win the Six Nations tournament. 

This summer Dupont will try to add Olympic gold to his resume as he leads the Rugby 7s team at the Paris Olympics. 

Dupont is the eighth-highest paid player in the world at $900,000 a year. 

Watch all of Antoine Dupont’s professional rugby games on FloRugby as well as his past French national team appearances.  

Antoine Dupont Second Try vs Harlequins

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Jamison Gibson-Park, Leinster Rugby, Scrumhalf

Bendon said few players in the Champions Cup have excelled more than the 32-year-old New Zealand native who now calls Dublin, Ireland home. 

“Pulling the strings masterfully, JGP is currently rivaling Dupont as the best scrumhalf in the world and dictates the Leinster tempo with aplomb,” Bendon said before adding: 

“In a weird way JGP is probably the best scrumhalf in the world but Dupont is the best player in the world.”

Gibson-Park came to Ireland in 2016 when he left the Hurricanes of the Super Rugby league in the Southern Hemisphere to join Leinster Rugby. After starting his international career with eight appearances for the Māori All Blacks from 2012-2015, Gibson-Park made his Irish debut in 2020 and has made 35 appearances and scored 25 points for the current No. 2 team in the world. 

Watch all of Jamison Gibson-Park’s professional rugby games on FloRugby as well as his past Irish national team appearances.  

Ardie Savea, Kobelco Kobe Steelers, Flanker/No. 8

Savea, 30, played in the Super Rugby with the Hurricanes from 2013-2023 before heading up the Pacific to the Japan Rugby League One club Kobelco Kobe Steelers. He was the 2023 World Rugby Player of the Year after helping New Zealand All Blacks reach the Rugby World Cup final where it narrowly lost to bitter rival South Africa. 

Savea has made 78 appearances for the All Blacks and scored 115 points. For the Hurricanes, he scored 160 points in 131 appearances and is already at 35 points in 10 appearances with the Kobe Steelers. 

Watch archived Hurricanes games featuring Ardie Savea as well as his past New Zealand All Blacks national team appearances. 

Ardie Savea's Performance Against Springboks

Dan Sheehan, Leinster Rugby, Hooker

The youngest player on Bendon’s list, Sheehan is just 25 and has made 55 appearances for Leinster since 2020 and 26 for Ireland since 2021, where he has scored 50 points in 26 appearances. Sheehan, who was born in Dublin, Ireland, has scored 165 points in 55 appearances for Leinster. 

A massive figure at 6-foot-3, 245 pounds, Sheehan is one of the brightest young player for Ireland. Like Dupont and Gibson-Park, he’s also a finalist for the Investec Champions Cup Player of the Year. The emergence of Sheehan has allowed Leinster, and Ireland,  to withstand the loss of Johnny Sexton over the last two season after the Flyhalf and his potent scoring attack retired. 

Sheehan recently re-signed with Leinster.

“I am delighted to commit my future to Leinster and continue my playing career in Ireland," said Sheehan in April of 2024. "It is a hugely exciting time to be playing rugby in Ireland, and I believe the best is yet to come at club and international levels in the months and years to come.”

Watch all of Dan Sheehan's professional rugby games on FloRugby as well as his past Irish national team appearances.  

Pieter-Steph Du Toit, Toyota Verblitz, Lock/Flanker

Pieter-Steph Du Toit makes Dan Sheehan seem small. Well, he would make most people feel small. Standing at almost 6-foot-7 and weighing 254 pounds, Du Toit is one of the most imposing figures in professional rugby.  

Du Toit, 31, left his native South Africa for Japan Rugby League One club Toyota Verblitz in 2022 after starring first for the Sharks and then the DHL Stormers, which is the club in his hometown of Cape Town, South Africa. 

Du Toit’s grandfather was a South African rugby player who made 14 national team appearances and his brother is Johan du Toit, who played with the DHL Stormers from 2017-2022 before he moved to the Western Province. 

But Pieter-Steph Du Toit has eclipsed them both. A key cog in South Africa’s back-to-back Rugby World Cup wins in 2019 and 2023, Pieter-Steph Du Toit has scored 40 points in 77 appearances and he was named Player of the Match in the Rugby World Cup final win over New Zealand in 2023. 

Professionally, he made 59 appearances for the Stormers from 2016-2021 and currently has played in 24 matches with 10 points for Toyota Verblitz.

Wales v South Africa Post-Game Interviews

More Investec Champions Cup News, Updates

Here are more headlines: 

Where Is The Investec Champions Cup Final, EPCR Challenge Cup Final in 2025?

Cardiff, Wales takes over hosting duties for the EPCR's biggest weekend in 2025. Principality Stadium will host the two finals on a date yet to be announced. It'll be the first time since 2014 that Wales's capital has hosted the finals. 

Cardiff has hosted the Champions Cup Final seven times and in the five times Principality Stadium has hosted the attendance has been above 68,000 fans. 

Top 14 And URC Rugby Seasons Stream Live On FloRugby 

The Top 14 and the United Rugby Championship seasons, as well as the Pacific region's professional league, Super Rugby, are all streaming on FloRugby and the FloSports app in the United States.

How To Watch The Investec Champions Cup In The United States 

Every game in the Investec Champions Cup is available on FloRugby and the FloSports app in the United States, including the final in May. Match archives, highlights and breaking news will be available on both platforms. 

Investec Champions Cup Semifinal Scores

Here are the scores from the semifinals:

  • Leinster Rugby 20, Northampton Saints 17
  • Toulouse Rugby 38, Harlequins F.C. 26

Investec Champions Cup Quarterfinals Scores 

Here are the scores from the quarterfinals:

  • Harlequins F.C. 42, Union Bordeaux-Bègles 41
  • Leinster Rugby 40, La Rochelle 13
  • Northampton Saints 59, Vodacom Bulls 
  • Toulouse 64, Exeter Chiefs 26

Investec Champions Cup Round Of 16 Rugby Scores 

Here are the scores from the Round of 16: 

  • Vodacom Bulls 59, Lyon 19, Final
  • La Rochelle 22, DHL Stormers 21, Final
  • Exeter Chiefs 21, Bath Final
  • Union Bordeaux-Bègles 45, Saracens 12, Final
  • Leinster 36, Leicester Tigers 22
  • Northampton Saints 24, Munster Rugby 14
  • Toulouse 31, Racing 92 7

What To Know About Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 

The host of the Champions Cup final moves from Aviva Stadium in Dublin to London's Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The venue is the third-largest stadium in England and home to Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

Investec Champions Cup Scores In Round 1

Dec. 8 

  • Northampton Saints 28, Glasgow Warriors 19 
  • Union Bordeaux-Bègles 41,  Connacht Rugby 5

Dec. 9

  • Exeter Chiefs 19, RC Toulon 18
  • Bath Rugby 37, vs. Ulster Rugby 14
  • Toulouse 42, vs Cardiff Rugby 7
  • Vodacom Bulls 27, Saracens 16
  • Munster Rugby 17, Aviron Bayonnais 17
  • Bristol Bears 36, Lyon 24

Dec. 10

  • Sale Sharks 28, Stade Français 5
  • Leinster Rugby 16, La Rochelle 9
  • Leicester Tigers 35, DHL Stormers 26
  • Harlequins 31, Racing 92 28

All these matches are streaming on FloRugby and the FloSports app.

Investec Champions Cup Scores In Round 2

Dec. 15

  • Northampton Saints 22, RC Toulon 19
  • Glasgow Warriors 12, Aviron Bayonnais 11

Dec. 16 

  • DHL Stormers 21, La Rochelle 20
  • Saracens 55, Connacht Rugby 36
  • Union Bordeaux-Bègles 36,  Bristol Bears 17
  • Vodacom Bulls 29, Lyon 28
  • Leinster Rugby 37, Sale Sharks 27
  • Bath Rugby 39, Cardiff Rugby 32
  • Ulster Rugby 31,  Racing 92 15

Dec. 17 

  • Exeter Chiefs 32, Munster Rugby 24
  • Toulouse 47, Harlequins 19
  • Leicester Tigers 27, Stade Français 24

All these matches are streaming on FloRugby and the FloSports app.

Investec Champions Cup Scores In Round 3

Jan. 12

  • Northampton Saints 61, Aviron Bayonnais 14

Jan. 13

  • Lyon 34, Connacht 20
  • Exeter Chiefs 19, Glasgow Warriors 17
  • Vodacom Bulls 31, Bristol Bears 17
  • Munster Rugby 29, RC Toulon 18
  • Leinster Rugby 43, Stade Français 7
  • DHL Stormers 31, Sale Sharks 24
  • Harlequins 54, Cardiff Rugby 15
  • Toulouse 48, Ulster Rugby 24

Jan. 14 

  • Bath Rugby 29, Racing 92 25
  • La Rochelle 45, Leicester Tigers 12
  • Union Bordeaux-Bègles 55, Saracens 15

All these matches are streaming on FloRugby and the FloSports app.

Investec Champions Cup Scores In Round 4

Jan. 19 

  • Glasgow Warriors 29, RC Toulon 5
  • Connacht Rugby 27, Bristol Bears 10

Jan. 20 

  • Harlequins 47, Ulster Rugby 19
  • Vodacom Bulls 46, Union Bordeaux-Bègles 40
  • Leinster Rugby 27, Leicester Tigers 10
  • Racing 92 48, Cardiff Rugby 26
  • Northampton Saints 26, Munster Rugby 23
  • DHL Stormers 24, Stade Français 20
  • Saracens 39, Lyon 24

Jan. 21

  • La Rochelle 37, Sale Sharks 24
  • Toulouse 31, Bath Rugby 19
  • Aviron Bayonnais 40, Exeter Chiefs 17

All these matches are streaming on FloRugby and the FloSports app.

How To Watch Rugby Matches In the United States On FloRugby

The Investec Champions Cup will stream all its matches on FloRugby and the FloSports app in the United States. FloRugby and FloSports also are the U.S. home to:

FloRugby also is home to match archives and match replays. 

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