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Breyton Paulse

Breyton Paulse was not only famous for the flick flack. Learn about his life and career with Rugby365, your resident rugby gurus. Click here for more.

Breyton Paulse Biography

Breyton Paulse, born on 25 April 1976 in De Keur in the Koue Bokkeveld, played for the Springboks from 1999 to 2007 and was one of the most prolific try-scorers of the modern game. He played 64 tests for South Africa, scoring 26 tries.

In his youth, in addition to rugby, Breyton Paulse participated in cricket, soccer, and athletics, representing Boland in the 200m and 400m sprints.The farmer who employed his parents recognized his talent for rugby, and to nurture it, paid his tuition fees to attend Stellenbosch University.

The speedster was born into a rugby playing family with his father and grandfather having played the game. He was a try-scoring machine and in a professional game dominated by big men, he stood out. The flick flack, which he did with great aplomb, was not the only thing he was famous for. 

Despite his size, Breyton Paulse's tremendous speed ensured that he would receive a serious look from selectors at all levels.

He garnered attention almost from the start of his top-flight career with a hat-trick of tries in a Currie Cup match in 1996 and eventually made his first Springbok appearance in 1999. In his first appearance for the Springboks against Italy, he scored a hat-trick.

At the end of the 2000 domestic season, Breyton Paulse became the first player of color to be named South African Rugby Player of the Year, capping a season in which he scored two tries in Western Province's win over Natal in the Currie Cup Final

Perhaps his most notable Springbok match was a two-try performance against Australia in the 2002 Tri-Nations (now The Rugby Championship). In the Currie Cup, playing for Western Province, he averaged nearly a try a match.

Breyton Paulse moved to France for the 2005-2006 season and played for Clermont Auvergne in the Top 14. He remained eligible for Springbok selection, as SA abandoned it's past policy of requiring that Springbok players play domestic rugby in South Africa.

Springbok coach Jake White selected Breyton Paulse for the 2005 Tri Nations, and started him in South Africa's first three Tests. Paulse scored an important try in South Africa's series-opening 22-16 win. However, in the Springboks' third match (against Australia) he received a three-week suspension for kicking Australian prop Al Baxter.

At the end of 2006, Breyton Paulse was picked by the Stormers to be part of their team for the 2007 Super 14, where he strengthened his chances to once again don the Green and Gold.

He was selected for the squad that was present at the 2003 Rugby World Cup finals, but was only selected to the 2007 Rugby World Cup finals as a reserve. 

On his retirement from the national side, Breyton Paulse had put in 64 Tests and 10 tour matches for the Springboks and scored 26 tries. His last appearance in the Springbok jumper was against New Zealand at Christchurch in 2007 at the age of 31.

Paulse took up mountain biking after retiring from international sport and completed the Cape Epic in 2009. He also completed the Untamed African MTB race as an individual finisher after his partner and local pro, Linus van Onselen, withdrew from the race.

Breyton Paulse took up the microphone after packing away his boots and has become a popular sports commentator and TV presenter.