9 May 1970 |
|Height||197 cm (6 ft 6 in)|
|Weight||101 kg (15 st 13 lb)|
|Source: Rugby League Project and Yesterday's Hero|
Paul Hauff (born 9 May 1970 in Cairns, Queensland) is a retired Australian professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s. A Queensland State of Origin and Australian international representative fullback, he played his whole top-level career in Australia for the Brisbane Broncos, later moving to their sister club in England, the London Broncos.
Hauff, a gangly fullback was graded with the Brisbane Broncos in 1990, being named along with Willie Carne as the club's joint rookie of the year. He marked his first grade dubut for Brisbane with a three-try performance against the Newcastle Knights at Marathon Stadium, helping the Broncos to a resounding 28-4 win over the Knights. Standing at 6'6" (197 cm), Paul Hauff is the tallest fullback on record in top level Australian rugby league history. Hauff also served with the Queensland Police.
After great form for the Broncos through 1991, and a knee injury to Kangaroos custodian Gary Belcher, Hauff was as a late replacement at fullback for Queensland in the 1991 State of Origin series, making his debut in Game 1 of the series on the day before his 21st birthday. His giant stride, step, and deceptive pace saw him leave New South Wales fullback Greg Alexander grasping at air on his way to his only try in representative football in the deciding Game 3 played at Lang Park in Brisbane, won by the Maroons 14-12 in what was Qld captain Wally Lewis' last game for The Maroons. Paul Hauff's performances in the his first two games for Qld in 1991 saw him retained at fullback for the deciding third game, despite Belcher returning from injury for the Canberra Raiders. He was also rated by many judges as the player of the series.
Paul Hauff's form at the back for Queensland saw him selected for his only test for Australia in the first test of the 1991 Trans-Tasman Test series against New Zealand to be played at Olympic Park in Melbourne. On a slippery surface, New Zealand exploited Hauff's weakness with low balls by grubber kicking to him near their line rather than putting up bombs where his height and leaping ability gave him a distinct advantage. Hauff produced at least one fumble in the second half leading to a try to Tawera Nikau, while also failing to clear the ball over the dead ball line in a race with NZ replacement Clayton Friend, leading to a try to Friend. The Kiwis went on to win a historic match 24-8 in front of some 26,900 fans. For the following game in Sydney, however, Hauff was replaced by Andrew Ettingshausen who moved from the Wing to fullback. Hauff's removal was one of nine changes made to the starting line up by coach Bob Fulton and the selectors, a move that worked as Australia thrashed New Zealand 44-0.
1992 was a season to forget for the giant fullback. A total shoulder reconstruction after suffering an injury in the Broncos 20-18 win over St George at the Adelaide Oval in Round 8 (24 May) saw him miss out on the Broncos' premiership success. Injuries, and the form of Julian O'Neill playing fullback saw Hauff restricted to just 13 games for the Broncos between 1993 and 1996.
Hauff signed to play with Brisbane's sister club, the London Broncos in 1996, scoring 13 tries for the club.
In 2000 he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia's international standing in rugby league.