Paul Vautin

Paul Vautin bigraphy, stories - Australian rugby league player. coach and commentator

Paul Vautin : biography

21 July 1959 –

Paul Vautin (born 21 July 1959 in Brisbane, Queensland) is an Australian television presenter and former professional rugby league footballer and coach. He has provided commentary for the Nine Network’s coverage of rugby league since joining the network in 1992 and has also hosted The Footy Show since its beginnings in 1994. 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 late 1979 to play with Manly-Warringah, whom he would captain to the 1987 NSWRL premiership. He also played for Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs club 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 also 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 hot 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 former 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. On an episode of The Footy Show in 2013, Vautin told the other panelists that other than his wife of 28 years Kim, and his elderly mother, almost everyone he knows calls him either Fatty or Fat rather than Paul.


  • Colman, Mike (1992) Fatty: The Strife and Times of Paul Vautin, Ironbark Press, Sydney
  • Vautin, Paul: Turn It Up! The life and thoughts of Paul "Fatty" Vautin; Pan Publishing, Sydney, 1995. A collection of articles Vautin has written between late 1993 (including his appearance and well-publicised catch in an all-stars cricket match in Tasmania) and the end of 1994, covering some of his past and views on current events of the time.
  • Andrews, Malcolm (2006) The ABC of Rugby League, Austn Broadcasting Corpn, Sydney
  • Big League, State of Origin 25 Years Collectors Edition 1980–2005, News Magazines, Sydney

Post-football career


Paul Vautin has been a regular commentator for Nine’s Wide World of Sports’ coverage of rugby league matches alongside Ray Warren and Peter Sterling for several years.

The Footy Show

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. Vautin later returned in the 2005 season of The Footy Show, but has vowed not to do any more dangerous or stupid stunts, limiting himself to general silliness such as eating hot foods.

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 has focussed on his Footy Show appearances but currently is still part of the broader Nine expert commentary team for big fixtures like the State of Origin.

In 2010, Vautin returned to the commentary box for a Brisbane Broncos home game at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane after some of the regular team went down with the flu. He has since become a semi-regular part of the commentary team for Broncos or Gold Coast Titans games, close to where he lives with his wife Kim, whom he married in 1985.

Speculation existed that 2007 would be Vautin’s last season as host of The Footy Show. As of 2013 however, Fatty continues as co-host of the show alongside former international cricketer Michael Slater.

Coaching career