Paul Vautin : biography
Vautin played 13 Tests during his career, touring New Zealand twice in 1985 and 1989. A broken arm suffered during the 1986 Winfield Cup, which sidelined him for three months, again caused him to miss the end of season Kangaroo Tour. In addition to the thirteen Tests he played for Australia, he played three tour games in New Zealand in both 1985 and 1989.
Paul Vautin was the vice-captain of Australia’s mid-season tour of NZ in 1989, captaining the team in three tour games (Wally Lewis was the tour and test captain). Fatty captained the Australian team (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, before captaining the team from the unfamiliar position of for a 28-10 win over Wellington at the Basin Reserve.
Vautin never scored a try in his test career. The closest he came was in the third and final test against New Zealand at the Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland in 1989, which would also prove to be his last test for Australia. During the second half of the game, Steve "Blocker" Roach made a break close to the half way and passed to Vautin with no one in front of him. Vautin raced down field and looked set to score until he was brought down in a desperate tackle just five metres out by Kiwi halfback Gary Freeman, though he was able to get a pass away as he was falling for Manly and Qld team mate Dale Shearer to score next to the posts.
During his career, Vautin often had to compete with players such as Ray Price, Wayne Pearce and 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.
In 2000, Vautin was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia’s international standing in the sport of rugby league.