Henry Paul

Last updated

Henry Paul
Paul against Leeds.jpg
Personal information
Full nameHenry Rangi Paul
Born (1974-02-10) 10 February 1974 (age 45)
Tokoroa, New Zealand
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight15 st 3 lb (97 kg)
Playing information
Rugby league
Position Stand-off, Loose forward
Te Atatu Roosters
Waitakere City Raiders
1993–94 Wakefield Trinity 24111
1994–98 Wigan 147550
1999–01 Bradford Bulls 100960
2006–08 Harlequins RL 63240
1995–01 New Zealand 24121
Rugby union
Position Inside centre
1996 Bath 60000
2001–06 Gloucester 116203572802
2008–10 Leeds Carnegie 37231616
2010–11 Rotherham 50000
2002–04 England 60306
England sevens
Source: [1]
Medal record
Men's rugby sevens
Representing Flag of England.svg  England
Commonwealth Games
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 2006 Melbourne Team competition

Henry Paul (born 10 February 1974), also known by the nickname of "HP", [2] is a former dual code rugby league and rugby union international. Paul represented New Zealand in rugby league and England in rugby union and rugby sevens. [1] He once held the world record for the most consecutive kicks on the field, a record now held by Neil Jenkins.

Nickname informal name of a person, place, or thing, for affection or ridicule

A nickname is a substitute for the proper name of a familiar person, place or thing - commonly used for affection.

Rugby league Team sport

Rugby league football is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators.

Rugby union Team sport, code of rugby football

Rugby union, commonly known in most of the world simply as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at each end.


Paul's played as a loose forward and stand-off. He played as a centre in rugby union, and has previously played as a fly-half.

He is the brother of New Zealand former international Robbie Hunter-Paul and married long term partner of 12 years Philippa English in July 2018. [3]

Early career

Born in Tokoroa, New Zealand, Paul started playing rugby union at the age of three for Ponsonby Rugby Football Club and then rugby league for the Te Atatu Roosters. Later, during his time at Rutherford High School (1990), he became a highly talented player at under-16 level, where he led his team to break many Auckland club rugby league team and individual records. The following year, Paul moved to the Point Chevalier Pirates.

Tokoroa Place in Waikato, New Zealand

Tokoroa is the fifth-largest town in the Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand and largest settlement in the South Waikato District. Located 30 km southwest of Rotorua, close to the foot of the Mamaku Ranges, it is midway between Taupo and Hamilton on State Highway One.

Te Atatu Roosters

The Te Atatu Roosters is a rugby league club based in Te Atatu, New Zealand. The club currently has 30 teams spread across schoolboy, junior and senior grades. The Roosters senior most team is in the Fox Championship Qualifying Competition for the 2019 season. Auckland Rugby League.

Rutherford College is a co-educational state secondary school on the Te Atatu Peninsula, Auckland, New Zealand. It is named after New Zealand-born nuclear physicist and chemist Lord Ernest Rutherford.

In the 1992 season he returned to Te Atatu, debuting in their senior premier team at 18 years of age, making the Auckland Rugby League Finals. That off season, Paul was selected as a utility player for the under-19 Auckland side, playing a major part in his team winning the national tournament. Following that success, Paul was selected as the Junior Kiwis captain to tour England that same off season.

Auckland Rugby League

The Auckland Rugby League (ARL) is the governing body for the sport of rugby league in the Auckland Region of New Zealand. It is responsible for rugby league in the region, including both club and school rugby league.

The Junior Kiwis side represents New Zealand in the sport of rugby league. They are commonly known as the Junior Kiwis, after the native bird of that name.

Captain (sports) member of a sports team

In team sport, captain is a title given to a member of the team. The title is frequently honorary, but in some cases the captain may have significant responsibility for strategy and teamwork while the game is in progress on the field. In either case, it is a position that indicates honor and respect from one's teammates – recognition as a leader by one's peers. In association football and cricket, a captain is also known as a skipper.

Paul led by example when his team looked "out of sorts", guiding them to memorable victories against their Great Britain counterparts. His form was so inspiring that he earned full New Zealand representative honours on the same tour, when the senior team the (New Zealand Kiwis) hit an injury crisis on a corresponding tour of Britain. Paul, at just 18 years of age, gained his test début as a substitute against France.

The New Zealand national rugby league team has represented New Zealand in rugby league since 1907. Administered by the New Zealand Rugby League, they are commonly known as the Kiwis, after the native bird of that name. The team's colour's are majority black with white and the players perform a haka before every match they play as a challenge to their opponents. The New Zealand Kiwis are currently third in the RLIF World Rankings. Since the 1980s, most New Zealand representatives have been based overseas, in the professional National Rugby League and Super League competitions. Before that players were selected entirely from clubs in domestic New Zealand leagues.

The 1993 New Zealand rugby league tour of Great Britain and France was a tour by the New Zealand national rugby league team. The New Zealand national rugby league team lost a series 0-3 against Great Britain but defeated Wales and France in one-off test matches. They also won games against Wigan, St Helens, Widnes, Leeds and the Great Britain under 23's.

France national rugby league team represents France in international rugby league

The France national rugby league team represent France in international rugby league tournaments. They are referred to as les Chanticleers or less commonly as les Tricolores. The team is run under the auspices of the Fédération Française de Rugby à XIII and is largely made up of players from Super League and the Elite One Championship.

Wakefield Trinity

Paul's form on the Junior, and then subsequently New Zealand team tour, did not go unnoticed by scouts in England and in the off season of 1993/94 he joined Wakefield Trinity (Heritage No. 1052) of the English Rugby Football League Championship. [4]

Back to New Zealand

He returned to New Zealand for the 1994 season, playing five matches for the Waitakere City Raiders in the new Lion Red Cup. He originally signed for the new Auckland Warriors club who were to enter the Australian Rugby League in 1995 but they released him as part of a deal that allowed Andy Platt to join Auckland from Wigan.


Paul in action for Harlequins RL. Henry Paul Quins.jpg
Paul in action for Harlequins RL.

Paul joined Wigan Warriors for the 1994–95 season and quickly established himself in the squad. At the end of Super Leagues first season, he was named at stand-off half in the 1996 Super League Dream Team. He played at stand-off half back for Wigan Warriors in their 1998 Super League Grand Final victory against Leeds Rhinos.

Henry Paul played fullback in Wigan's 40-10 victory over Warrington in the 1994–95 Regal Trophy Final during the 1994–95 season at Alfred McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield on Saturday 28 January 1995, [5] and played stand-off, and scored 2-tries and 4-conversions in the 25-16 victory over St. Helens in the 1995–96 Regal Trophy Final during the 1994–95 season at Alfred McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield on Saturday 13 January 1996. [6] Paul became the first league player ever to play in coloured (white) boots and to play under their first name, on account of his brother also playing super league rugby.


In September 1998, at the end of his contract he moved to the Bradford Bulls. Paul played for Bradford Bulls at stand-off half back and scored his team's sole try and goal in the 1999 Super League Grand Final which was lost to St. Helens. Paul scored one of the most famous try's in Super League history running from the 60 meter line scoring the first try of the 1999 Super League Grand Final with one shoe [7] .

Paul was selected for the New Zealand team to compete in the end of season 1999 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against Australia he partnered his brother Robbie in the halves, kicking six goals in the Kiwis' 22-20 loss. He helped beat his former club Wigan in the 2001 Super League Grand Final. When he was at Bradford he set a goalkicking record for consecutive goals (35), as well as for points in a season at the club. [8]

He won the Lance Todd Trophy for his performance in the 2000 Challenge Cup victory over the Leeds Rhinos.

Paul played for the Bradford Bulls as his brother Robbie's halves partner, kicking four goals and one drop goal in their 2001 Super League Grand Final victory against the Wigan Warriors.

International rugby league

In international rugby league he received 23 caps for New Zealand [9] , competing in two Rugby League world cup's. Upon his return from rugby union in 2006 he qualified for both New Zealand and Great Britain. [10] [11]

Move to rugby union

Paul had previously spoken to National Rugby League club the Canterbury Bulldogs and Super 12 clubs the Auckland Blues and the Waikato Chiefs. However, he was eventually tempted away from the Bradford Bulls, to play rugby union for Gloucester, by Philippe Saint-André and Tom Walkinshaw. [12] [13]

He had a dream début for Gloucester scoring 28 points against Caerphilly. Paul began a four-year contract at Kingsholm in 2001 and won an England A national squad selection after just one game for the Cherry and Whites. [14] [15]

His early days at Gloucester were turbulent, compared to the unqualified domestic success that he had in later years at the club. He was even linked with a return his former club the Bradford Bulls, the Widnes Vikings and a move to NRL club the Canberra Raiders and a reunion with former coach at Bradford Matthew Elliott. [16] [17] [18]

Having experimented with being a fullback and fly-half he settled into the Inside centre position and his long passing stood well with Gloucester's style of play. He had his best year with Gloucester Rugby in 2004 when he won the club's season ticket holders’ Player of the Year award and was also nominated for the Zurich Premiership Player of the Year award alongside Bruce Reihana, Mark Robinson, Simon Shaw and Mark van Gisbergen. Whilst at Gloucester he started in the 2002 Zurich Championship Final (the year before winning the play-offs constituted winning the English title) in which Gloucester defeated Bristol Rugby, [19] and the 2003 Powergen Cup Final in which Gloucester defeated Northampton Saints. [20]

England international

With his switch to rugby union, he controversially decided to play for England (due to the fact he could only play for the New Zealand national side if he played in Super 12) rather than New Zealand. Although he was born in New Zealand, he qualified for England through his Liverpudlian grandfather. [12]

He won his first England cap as a replacement against France in the 2002 Six Nations Championship, but has only managed to win a handful of caps since then, mostly during the 2004 Six Nations Championship, coming off the bench in Rome and at Murrayfield. He was also considered Man of the Match for England A against France A in March 2004 – with five penalties and a conversion.

He excelled for the England Sevens side and was a member of the 2002 Commonwealth Games and 2006 Commonwealth Games squads, winning a silver medal in 2006. Paul also was the acting captain of England Sevens when it won the USA Sevens tournament in 2006 and was part of the only Rugby 7s squad to win the Hong Kong 7s with him being awarded player of the tournament. [21] England 7s have failed to win in Hong Kong since their 2002 victory. [22]

He was also a member of the England A team that won the 2003 Churchill Cup in Canada and returned there again on the 2004 Churchill Cup tour.

Harlequins RL

Paul in action for Harlequins RL Henry Paul kicking against Leeds.jpg
Paul in action for Harlequins RL

On 27 April 2006, Paul agreed a move back to rugby league joining Harlequins RL. The London side beat off competition from the Penrith Panthers to secure his signature. [23]

His brother Robbie Paul played rugby league for Salford City Reds, having played with Paul at Bradford Bulls before a spell at Huddersfield Giants. Paul faced Robbie in his first game back in 2006's Super League XI on 29 April 2006.

Man of Steel Awards controversy

In 2007 Paul appeared drunk at the European Super League's Man of Steel Award's dinner. Paul had slurred his acceptance speech when he received the Frontline Fairplay Index Award, awarded for good behaviour on the field, on behalf of the club. [24] [25] [26] [27] and Paul subsequently apologised for his actions. [28] [29] [30] [31]

Leeds Carnegie

He had been linked with a return to rugby union with Leeds Carnegie. [32] But the move was initially seen as unlikely due to the team being relegated from the 2007-08 Guinness Premiership. [33] [34]

The 34-year-old switched codes and joined Leeds' National League One campaign at the end of 2008's Super League XIII. [35] [36] Henry played at centre and fly-half for the two years at Carnegie. While in the RFU Championship he captained the side to their biggest victory in Carnegie history against Manchester and captained the side a numerous times, getting Man of the Match on several occasions. He helped Carnegie get promoted to the Premiership.

Rotherham Titans

In 2010, Paul signed for RFU Championship side the Rotherham Titans. [37]

Paul did not stay long at the club due to work commitments with Russia putting him out of the country for most of the year.

Coaching career

Paul was released from Leeds in 2010 to embark on his coaching career as he signed up as the assistant coach of Russia. [38]

Paul started his role coaching Russia at the 2010 Churchill Cup in the United States. He then coached them during the 2010-2012 European Nations Cup First Division and at the 2011 Churchill Cup held in England, coming close against Italy A and the United States.

Paul took the side to the 2011 Rugby World Cup with Kingsley Jones as head coach. [39] After 2 years with the Russian 15s team, Paul was appointed rugby 7s coach. After almost 4 years with Russia, Paul left to undertake a teaching role.

Paul then took a role as Rugby Programmes Manager for Queen Ethelburga's School in York which he remained in for two years. Queen Ethelburga's achieved their greatest rugby success in these two years winning the British Colleges National Cup [40] and making it to the Semi-Finals of the Rosslyn Park 7s in 2015. [41] Paul continued his national coaching experience during this time however, coaching India's Men and Women's 15s and 7s teams for various tournaments during this time.

Paul left Queen Ethelburga's to move to be with his now wife in Dubai, United Arab Emirates taking up the role of Head Coach of the Jebel Ali Dragons in July 2016 [42] and also being appointed Director of Rugby of the club in 2017. [43] The club obtained their greatest success in years in the first year of Paul's coaching, with them making both the West Asia Premiership final and the UAE Premiership Final. [44] Despite not winning either of the finals the club was crowned West Asia Premiership winners in March 2018 [45] with Paul also being awarded coach of the season.

Canadian 15's and 7's Coach

Paul was asked to assist the Canadian rugby team in February 2018 during the America's Rugby Championship [46] and his performance secured him a permanent role as Assistant Coach of Canada Rugby alongside Head Coach Kingsley Jones in May 2018. [47] The Jebel Ali Dragons Chairman Stuart Quinn said he was thrilled for Paul, despite the fact that they meant they were losing "the best coach in the region". [48]

Paul was the 15's assistant coach for over a year before he was asked to act as interim Canada Rugby 7's coach following the departure of coach Damian McGrath [49] , coaching the team for a month before taking them to the London and Paris 7's. Despite Paul confirming the goal was to test players for the up and coming qualifiers for the Olympics in the Cayman Islands, Paul's team succeeded in getting to the cup quarter finals in London and winning the Challenge Cup in Paris [50] , achieving the teams biggest success in the 2018/19 series.

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