|Born||21 July 1959|
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
|Height||176 cm (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||90 kg (14 st 2 lb)|
Paul "Fatty" Vautin (born 21 July 1959) is an Australian football commentator and formerly a professional rugby league footballer, captain and coach. He has provided commentary for the Nine Network's coverage of rugby league since joining the network in 1992 and also hosted The Footy Show from its beginnings in 1994 opposite co-host Peter Sterling, until 2017. An Australian Kangaroos test and Queensland State of Origin representative lock or second-row forward, Vautin played club football in Brisbane with Wests, before moving to Sydney in 1979 to play with Manly-Warringah, whom he would captain to the 1987 NSWRL premiership. He also played for Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, and in England for St Helens.
After playing, Vautin became a sports commentator for the Nine Network, calling rugby league games alongside Ray Warren and the recently retired Peter Sterling. Later, during the Super League war, he was hired to coach Queensland in the 1995 State of Origin series and took the Maroons to an upset 3–0 whitewash of series favourite New South Wales.
According to Vautin, he earned his nickname "Fatty" soon after joining Manly in 1979. While being shown around Brookvale Oval by club secretary Ken Arthurson, he walked past retired Manly premiership captain Fred Jones who was in conversation with club and Kangaroos fullback Graham Eadie. Jones asked Eadie "Who is that fatty?", and the name stuck.[ citation needed ]
Vautin made his name in the late 1970s. He played for the Wests Panthers in the Brisbane Rugby League premiership, the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in Sydney, St. Helens in England, Queensland in the State of Origin and the Australia national rugby league team. He finished his playing career with Sydney club the Eastern Suburbs Roosters in 1991.
He was graded as an 18-year-old by Brisbane Rugby League club Wests as a Lock in 1978, sometimes playing opposite another talented young lock from Valley's destined for future greatness as a Five-eighth named Wally Lewis. Vautin was signed by Manly-Warringah club Secretary Ken Arthurson in late 1978 after Arthurson had viewed a tape of him scoring a 75-metre try from a scrum for Wests at Lang Park, and moved from Brisbane to play for the defending NSWRFL premiers starting in 1979.
After playing Reserve Grade for Manly in the opening round of the 1979 season, against St. George at Kogarah Oval, Vautin went on to play in grand finals with Manly in 1982 and 1983, going down to Parramatta both times.
Vautin was named captain of Manly-Warringah in 1985 by coach Bob Fulton.
Vautin enjoyed success in leading Manly to an 18–8 victory over the Canberra Raiders in the 1987 Grand Final, the last played at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Before the 1987 season had started, the Manly club board had wanted Bob Fulton to install 1986 Kangaroo tour second rower Noel Cleal as club captain [ citation needed ], replacing Vautin who had captained the side since 1985.
Following the grand final victory in 1987, he traveled with Manly to England for the 1987 World Club Challenge against their champions, Wigan. The home side won a try-less game 8–2 at Central Park.During the match, Vautin was tackled over the sideline in front of the main grandstand. After easily being the best side in the Sydney competition during the year, and after the unbeaten 1986 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France, the Manly players later admitted to over-confidence and took the game far too lightly, treating the trip more as a holiday than anything serious and actually continued their grand final celebrations while in England.
Vautin and Manly teammate Michael O'Connor both signed to play for the Alex Murphy coached St. Helens during the 1988–89 Rugby Football League season on 2 August 1988. Fatty would go on to captain St. Helens in his last match for them, a 27–0 loss to Wigan in the 1989 Challenge Cup Final played on 29 April 1989 at Wembley Stadium in front of 78,000 fans. It was the first time since 1952 that a team had been held scoreless.Vautin played 21 games for St. Helens in 1988–89 and made his début in English club football on 9 October 1988 in a 30–22 win over Hull Kingston Rovers at Craven Park in Hull.
He signed with the Eastern Suburbs Roosters for two years, where he even spent time in reserve grade after being dropped by coach Mark Murray - a former Queensland and Australian teammate, before retiring at the end of the 1991 NSWRL season. His last game for the out of contention Roosters was an 8-42 loss to eventual premiers Penrith at the Sydney Football Stadium on 25 August, the final round of the season.[ citation needed ]
Vautin made his Origin début for the Maroons in game 2 of the 1982 series. He was originally selected as the starting lock forward but was moved to the bench on the day of the game [ citation needed ] by coach Arthur Beetson in favor of Rod Morris who ended up putting in a man of the match performance. Vautin came on in the second half and, with Queensland leading 8–7, scored the winning try for the Maroons that kept the series alive after New South Wales had won game 1. Queensland went on to win game 3 of the series at the SCG where Vautin again started from the bench.
In 1984, Vautin and Manly teammate Chris Close became the last Queensland representative players to be selected for the annual NSW City vs NSW Country game, when he was selected in the second row for NSW City for the game at the SCG, won 38–12 by City.
For the next nine years, with the exception of 1986 when he was not considered for selection due to his broken arm,[ citation needed ] he was a regular in those star-studded Queensland sides which included test captains Wally Lewis and Mal Meninga, as well as Gene Miles, Gary Belcher, Bob Lindner, Greg Dowling and Allan Langer, and Manly teammates Chris Close, Dale Shearer, John Ribot and Kerry Boustead, and produced many inspirational performances over 22 games. He had the honor of captaining the Queensland side in the first game of the 1988 State of Origin series at the new Sydney Football Stadium, and the first game of the 1990 series at Olympic Park in Melbourne - the first Origin game in Australia played outside of Brisbane or Sydney. Both times he captained the team was when Lewis was ruled out with injury. At the time he became only the third Queensland Origin captain at the time alongside Beetson and Lewis.
Game 1 of the 1990 series was Vautin's last game of State of Origin football as he was dumped after Queensland lost 0–8 to NSW after having won both the previous two series 3–0.
Vautin made his test début for Australia in 1982 in the first test against New Zealand, at Lang Park in Brisbane under the coaching of his original Manly coach Frank Stanton. However, after playing for Queensland and Australia, and helping Manly to second on the ladder and then into the grand final against minor premiers Parramatta, he was not selected for the end of season 1982 Kangaroo tour.
He returned to the test team for Australia's mid-season tour to New Zealand in 1983, and in 1984 was selected for the second Ashes Test against Great Britain at Lang Park, copping an elbow to the face from replacement Mick Adams as he tackled the Lions forward, resulting in a fractured cheekbone during the 18–6 win which saw Australia retain The Ashes. Vautin's injury kept him out of the third test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, and caused him to miss 11 games of the 1984 NSWRL season.
Vautin played 13 test matches during his career, touring New Zealand twice in 1985 and 1989. In addition to the thirteen tests he played for Australia, he played two tour games in New Zealand in 1985 and three tour games in 1989.
Vautin was selected for Australia in their successful 1988 Ashes series against the Great Britain tourists. As a result of being selected for the first test, Vautin missed playing in Manly's 30–0 demolition of Great Britain at Brookvale Oval only four days before the first test. [ citation needed ]
Vautin was the vice-captain of Australia's mid-season tour of New Zealand in 1989, captaining the team in three tour games (Wally Lewis was the tour and test captain). Fatty captained the Australian team (now coached by Bob Fulton) to a 50–18 win over a New Zealand XIII at the Palmerston North Showgrounds in the opening game of the tour. He would later captain the side in another tour game against Auckland for the only loss of the tour, the Australians surprised 26–24 at Carlaw Park (the Kangaroos first non-test loss since losing to Widnes on the 1978 Kangaroo tour), before captaining the team from the unfamiliar position of Five-eighth for a 28–10 win over Wellington at the Basin Reserve.
During his career, Vautin often had to compete with players such as Ray Price, Wayne Pearce and fellow Queenslander Bob Lindner for the Australian Lock-forward position, and as such was often selected in the second row. Of his 13 test matches, Vautin played 8 in the second row, 4 at lock and one (a 70–8 win over Papua New Guinea in Wagga Wagga in 1988) from the bench.
Loyal to his Channel Nine employer, Vautin was a vocal supporter of the Kerry Packer-backed Australian Rugby League during the Super League war which started in 1995. With only limited coaching experience having coached the Brisbane Capitols to the Winfield State League championship in 1992 (winning all 5 games), he was considered an inferior replacement for dual premiership winning coach Wayne Bennett who was originally named to return as coach of the 1995 Queensland State of Origin team (Bennett had previously coached the Maroons from 1986-1988), and with Queensland having lost the last three consecutive series and being given a handful of young and inexperienced players, Vautin and Queensland were expected to be easy prey for NSW, who could still boast almost half a side of international players as well as Origin and dual premiership winning coach Phil Gould. However, his representative coaching début took a fairy tale turn when the young Maroons, without any of the stars from Super League-aligned clubs (most notably the Wayne Bennett coached Brisbane Broncos), completed a 3–0 series whitewash of New South Wales that year.
With the Super League players available for selection in the 1996 State of Origin series, Queensland were rated a chance of retaining their crown but lost the series 0–3. After losing the 1997 series 1–2, Vautin was replaced as Queensland coach the following year by Wayne Bennett.
In 2000, Vautin was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia's international standing in the sport of rugby league.
After Manly had been knocked out of the finals series, Paul Vautin made his television commentary début during the 1988 NSWRL Grand Final with the ABC alongside long time caller David Morrow. Vautin's introduction to television commentary did not go to plan though as he thought they were pre-recording the introduction to the game and dropped the "F-bomb", only to find out that it was in fact being broadcast live around Australia.
Vautin was then signed by the Nine Network and has been a regular commentator for Nine's Wide World of Sports' coverage of rugby league matches alongside Ray Warren and Peter Sterling since 1992.
Tim Brasher actually fell over in front of Tony Smith. He's hit every limb, Rabs – all five of 'em came out and he's brought down Tony Smith...
Vautin has hosted The NRL Footy Show since 1994, propelling him to TV stardom. He suffered a serious concussion in 2005 filming for the show in a segment called "Dare-Devil Dudes", when he hit his head on concrete, with a helmet luckily minimising the damage. He did not host for a period of about 10 weeks.
From 1992 to 2004, he was a mainstay of the Channel Nine match commentary team along with Peter Sterling and Ray Warren, calling club, Origin and international games. Since the concussion incident, he had focussed on his Footy Show appearances but was still part of the broader Nine expert commentary team for big fixtures like the State of Origin.
Speculation existed that 2017 would be Vautin's last season as host of The Footy Show.In October 2017, Vautin was axed from The Footy Show.
Walter James Lewis AM is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and coached in the 1980s and 1990s. He became a commentator for television coverage of the sport. A highly decorated Australian national captain, Lewis is widely regarded as one of the greatest ever players of rugby league. His time as a player and coach was followed by a career as a sports presenter for the Nine Network.
Ian Roberts is an Australian actor, and former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s and 1990s. A New South Wales State of Origin and Australian international representative forward, he played club football with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Wigan Warriors, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and North Queensland Cowboys. In 1995 Roberts became the first high-profile Australian sports person and first rugby footballer in the world to come out to the public as gay.
Raymond Allan Price OAM, is an Australian former dual-code international rugby union and rugby league footballer. He was nicknamed “Mr Perpetual Motion” for his hard, intimidating style of play in league at lock forward. Price played rugby league for Sydney's Parramatta Eels club, with whom he won four NSWRL premierships, a Dally M Medal and a Rothmans Medal. He also played in State of Origin for New South Wales.
Robert Fulton, also nicknamed "Bozo", was an Australian international rugby league footballer, coach and later commentator. Fulton played, coached, selected for and has commentated on the game with great success at the highest levels and has been named amongst Australia's greatest rugby league players of the 20th century. As a player Fulton won three premierships with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in the 1970s, the last as captain. He represented the Australian national side on thirty-five occasions, seven times as captain. He had a long coaching career at the first grade level, taking Manly to premiership victory in 1987 and 1996. He coached the Australian national team in thirty-nine Tests. He was a New South Wales State selector and a national selector. He was a radio commentator with 2GB at the time of his death in 2021, aged 73. In 1981, he was selected as one of the initial four post-war "Immortals" of the Australian game and, in 2008, he was named in Australia's team of the century.
Michael David O'Connor is an Australian former rugby league and rugby union footballer who represented Australia in both codes. He played for the Wallabies in 13 Tests from 1979 to 1982 and then the Kangaroos in 17 Tests from 1985 to 1990. O'Connor played club football in the NSWRL Premiership for the St. George Dragons from 1983 until 1986, and later the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles from 1987 until his retirement at the end of 1992, becoming captain of Manly in 1990, as well as winning the 1987 Winfield Cup with the Sea Eagles.
Noel Harvey "Crusher" Cleal is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who also had a successful coaching career. A destructive second-row for the Manly Sea Eagles, he also represented New South Wales in the State of Origin Series and the Australian national rugby league team.
Benjamin Ikin is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer and works as a presenter for Fox Sports. An Australian international and Queensland State of Origin representative centre turned five-eighth, he played his club football for the Gold Coast Seagulls, North Sydney Bears and Brisbane Broncos, with whom he won the 2000 premiership, before being forced into early retirement in 2004 by injury. He was previously a commentator for the Nine Network.
Geoffrey "Geoff" Toovey, also known by the nickname of "Toovs" or "Tooves", is the former head coach of the Bradford Bulls and former professional rugby league footballer. Toovey played halfback for the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, then played as a hooker later in his career at the Northern Eagles. He played 286 first-grade matches in all, and captained Manly to the 1996 ARL premiership and the 1995 and 1997 grand finals. He played in 13 international matches for Australia between 1991 and 1998. Toovey is the former head coach of Manly-Warringah.
Cliff Lyons is an indigenous Australian former international rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s and 1990s. A Clive Churchill Medallist and two-time Dally M Medallist, he made 309 first-grade appearances with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, winning grand finals with them in 1987 and 1996. Lyons also represented New South Wales and Australia, being part of the successful 1990 Kangaroo Tour of Great Britain and France.
The 1987 NSWRL season was the 80th season of professional rugby league football in Australia. Thirteen clubs competed for the New South Wales Rugby League premiership's J J Giltinan Shield and Winfield Cup during the season, which culminated in the grand final between the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and the Canberra Raiders who were the first club ever from outside Sydney to appear in a premiership decider. This season, NSWRL teams also competed for the 1987 National Panasonic Cup.
The history of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles dates back to 1932 when the Manly-Warringah Junior Rugby Football League was founded. In 1947 the New South Wales Rugby Football League included two additional teams: Manly-Warringah DRLFC and Parramatta DRLFC. The new club adopted the nickname "Sea Eagles" and went on to compete in every season of top-level rugby league until merging with the nearby North Sydney Bears to form the Northern Eagles club at the end of 1999. After three years the joint-venture team was disbanded with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles returning as a sole entity once more to the National Rugby League.
Wayne Bartrim, is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s and 2000s. He was selected to represent Australia and Queensland during his career, which he spent playing for the Gold Coast Seagulls, St. George Dragons and the St. George Illawarra Dragons in Australia and the Castleford Tigers in England. Bartrim primarily played his club career as a lock, but played his representative career as a hooker.
Frank Stanton, also known by the nickname of "Biscuits", is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1960s, a successful club, and national representative coach in the 1970s and 1980s. His playing and club coaching career was with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. He enjoyed success as coach of the Australian national side from 1978 to 1984, being at the helm in the period when the Kangaroos began to consistently dominate the other rugby league playing nations.
The 1995 State of Origin series was the 14th annual three-game series between the Queensland and New South Wales representative rugby league teams. Due to the Australian Rugby League's ongoing conflicts with Super League, they ruled that no Super League-aligned players were eligible for State of Origin selection in 1995. This appeared to hurt Queensland, eliminating their mostly Brisbane Broncos back line, and they were not widely expected to win the series. However, they won 3–0, their first series win since 1991. Novice Queensland coach Paul Vautin made only one player change to his squad during the three game series. This series once again saw State of Origin football venture to Melbourne, after an enthusiastic Melbourne crowd packed the MCG to watch game two of the 1994 series. Although the crowd in Melbourne was not as high as 1994's then-record origin crowd of 87,161, it was still a success, attracting 52,994 spectators and furthering the case for a first grade team in Melbourne.
Tom Mooney is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s. He played in Sydney's New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership as a wing for the Manly-Warringah and South Sydney clubs. Mooney won the 1976 and 1978 premierships with Manly.
The 1982 Kangaroo tour was the fifteenth Kangaroo tour where the Australian national rugby league team played a number of matches against British and French rugby league teams, in addition to the Test matches. The Australia national rugby league team have generally since 1908 barring wartime, toured Great Britain every four years often capping the tour with matches and Tests in France. This regular touring side are known as the Kangaroos.
The 1991 Trans-Tasman Test series was an international rugby league test series played in Australia between Australia and New Zealand. The series, which started on 3 July in Melbourne and finished on 31 July in Brisbane, consisted of three test matches, with the third test doubling as a 1989–1992 Rugby League World Cup tournament match. New Zealand did not play in any other matches while on tour.
The 1995 Trans-Tasman Test series was an international rugby league, three test series played in Australia between the Australian Kangaroos and New Zealand national rugby league team. As the series was played in the middle of the 1995 ARL season and most of the Kiwis selected came from Australian Rugby League (ARL) clubs, New Zealand did not play in any tour matches while in Australia, but prior to the series against Australia they had a two test home series against France.
The 1989 Kangaroo Tour of New Zealand was a mid-season tour of New Zealand by the Australia national rugby league team. The Australians played six matches on tour, including a three test series against the New Zealand national rugby league team. The tour began on 4 July and finished on 23 July.
The 1985 Kangaroo Tour of New Zealand was a mid-season tour of New Zealand by the Australia national rugby league team. The Australians played six matches on tour, including the final two games of a three-game test series against the New Zealand with the first test taking place in Brisbane on 18 June. The NZ tour began on 19 June and finished on 10 July.
...Molan will be groomed as the replacement for Vautin, who will be restricted to Nine commentary box duties at live NRL games in 2018.
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State of Origin