Vale Paul Sait

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are mourning the passing of premiership winning Australian international, Paul Sait, following a long illness, aged 76.

Mr Sait, a South Sydney junior who was Rabbitohs first grade player 549, made his first grade debut for South Sydney against Western Suburbs in round four, 1968. He would go on to play 223 grade games for South Sydney including 165 first grade fixtures, scoring 30 first grade tries for 90 points.

Playing centre and lock, Mr Sait played in three first grade Grand Finals for South Sydney between 1969 and 1971, winning premierships in 1970 and 1971, playing a key role in the Club’s third golden era.

Mr Sait played 16 Test matches for Australia between 1970 and 1975, six games for New South Wales between 1969 and 1974, three matches for City Firsts between 1971 and 1975, plus matches for City Seconds and Sydney Colts in 1970.

Mr Sait captained the Rabbitohs during the 1977 and 1978 seasons, was named in the Rabbitohs Dream Team in the centres in 2004, and was awarded Life Membership at the Rabbitohs in 1991.

Rabbitohs CEO, Blake Solly, paid tribute to Mr Sait.

“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,” Mr Solly said.

“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.”

Mr Sait's funeral will be held at Eastern Suburbs Crematorium in the South Chapel at midday on Thursday 30 November, followed by the wake at The Juniors, Kingsford at 1:30pm. To watch the live stream of the funeral, please click here.

On behalf of everyone connected with the Rabbitohs, we offer our deepest and most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Paul Sait.

Rabbitohs Historian, Michael Curin, penned the following biography of Paul Sait:

Paul Joseph Sait was born on 4 June 1947 in Matraville, Sydney. He played his junior football with Maroubra Junction and Matraville Tigers. He represented Souths in the Jersey Flegg and Presidents Cup junior competitions, before being graded by the Rabbitohs in 1967. Sait made his first grade debut in 1968 against Western Suburbs at Lidcombe Oval (in round four) to become Rabbitohs first grade player number 549.

A one-club player who played with the Rabbitohs for 13 seasons and 223 grade games, including 165 in first grade (nine as captain). His impressive representative career includes City Seconds in 1970, Sydney Colts in 1970, City Firsts in 1971-72 and 1975, NSW in 1969, 1971 and 1974 (five games), and Australia in 1970-73 and 1975 (16 Tests and World Cup/World Championship games, plus nine tour games).

A valuable utility player, although dogged by injuries, he won two premiership titles at the Rabbitohs in 1970-71 and came on as a replacement for Bob Honan at half-time in the losing 1969 Grand Final side against Balmain. He started out as a centre because Ron Coote held Sait's preferred lock position at Souths. In 1969 Sait was chosen as a reserve for NSW but was relegated to reserve grade in his club match because of the talent in the Souths camp. The departure of Ron Coote for Easts saw Sait take over the lock role with the Rabbitohs and he then went on to play in every position in the forwards for his club except hooker.

Sait played against New Zealand in 1971 (his Kangaroos player number is 451) and went to France for the 1972 World Cup before touring with the 1973 Kangaroos. Sait played in all three Tests against Great Britain in the second row and one Test against France. His last Test series was against Great Britain in 1974 and the World Championship in 1975. He continued to captain the Rabbitohs after the club's great years had passed before retiring in 1978.

He was inducted as a Life Member of the South Sydney Football Club at the 84th Annual General Meeting held at the South Sydney Leagues Club in Redfern on 8 December 1991.

At a gala dinner which was held at the Westin Hotel in Sydney on 29 July 2004, Sait was selected as a centre in the South Sydney Dream Team.

Sait was selected as a centre in the South Sydney Juniors Team of the Century which was announced at the 2008 Centenary Ball at Royal Randwick.

He coached Wests Wollongong Devils to two premiership titles in 1980-81 in the Illawarra premiership, and Souths' third grade side in 1982-83.

His uncle, Bob Sait, also played for South Sydney in 1954-55 and Eastern Suburbs in 1959.

Paul Sait runs the ball in 1974

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