Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) Chairman Peter V’landys AM has today paid tribute to Paul Sait, who has passed away at the age of 76 following a long illness.
A South Sydney junior, Sait made his first-grade debut for the Rabbitohs against Western Suburbs in round four, 1968.
He would go on to play 223 grade games for the foundation club including 165 first-grade fixtures, scoring 30 tries in the top grade.
Sait appeared in three consecutive grand finals for Souths between 1969-71.
He came off the bench in the '69 decider, which the Bunnies lost 11-2 to Balmain, before starting at centre alongside Arthur Branighan in the 1970 grand final win over Manly.
In 1971 he made it back-to-back premierships when he teamed with Bob Honan in the centres as Souths downed St George 16-10.
“Paul was a South Sydney legend, playing in three first-grade grand finals for the club, winning two in 1970 and 1971,” Mr V’landys said.
“He was a versatile player across his 165 first-grade matches, earning his place in Souths’ Dream Team, named in 2004, following a long and successful career in a golden era for the club.
“Paul played in the World Cups of 1970 and 1972, as well as the World Series of 1975.
“On behalf of the Commission, I extend our condolences to his family, friends, and all those who knew him.”
Sait played 16 Tests for Australia and was a member of the 1973 Kangaroo touring party, playing all three Tests against Great Britain at lock.
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He also played six interstate games for New South Wales between 1969 and 1974 and represented City Firsts three times.
He captained the Rabbitohs during the 1977-78 seasons and was awarded Life Membership at the Rabbitohs in 1991.
“Paul is renowned as one of the great South Sydney men of the club’s third golden era, his contribution the equal of the likes of Sattler, McCarthy, Coote and Simms,” said Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly.
“He was able to earn his way into a first-grade team that won four premierships in five years, and cemented his name in the folklore of South Sydney.
"He was recognised as one of the two best centres to play for this club in its first century, being named in our Dream Team, and fittingly he was a Life Member of our club.
“To his family and friends we offer our condolences and support at this very difficult time. Vale Paul Sait.”