Born: 12 December, 1949
Died: 17 June, 2020
Test record: 1 Test (1975) – 0 points
Tours: 1975 World Championship series
Otahuhu, Auckland and New Zealand Māori utility-back Paul Matete played one match for the Kiwis during the 1975 World Championship series.
After emerging as a prolific pointscorer for Otahuhu in 1969, the 20-year-old Matete was called into New Zealand’s 17-man squad for the third Test against the 1970 Lions but was not used.
Matete represented New Zealand Māori against Auckland in 1972, Great Britain in 1974, Wales in 1975 and at the 1975 Pacific Cup. Following the latter, he was called into the Kiwis squad for the second half of the World Championship and played centre in a 24-8 loss to Australia at Carlaw Park.
The Otahuhu stalwart finished his club career with Manukau in the early-1980s and was later manager of New Zealand Māori at the 1988 Pacific Cup.
Sent to South Africa by an Australian promotional company to help assemble a team for the 1992 World Sevens, Matete married a South African and stayed in the country – and took the coaching reins of the national team.
Though he did not oversee South Africa’s historic 1995 World Cup campaign (Tony Fisher, who ironically was part of the 1975 Wales team, coached the side), Matete was the Rhinos’ coach for the 2000 World Cup.
Matete subsequently returned to New Zealand, passing away in 2020, aged 70.