THE YEAR THAT WAS | Paul Vaughan

Sam Pasfield

Dragons prop Paul Vaughan has gone from strength to strength this season, reaffirming his place as one of St Georges' best forwards while being put to the test in Origin.

Vaughan made his State of Origin debut in 2018, and played all three games in his first series. He would back up with another three Origins in 2019 in NSW’s second-straight series win.

His impressive form didn’t go unnoticed, since he got the call up from Mal Meninga to make his debut for the Kangaroos where he scored his first try in the green and gold against Tonga.

His career has sky-rocketed since moving to Wollongong so it was only fitting that the 28-year-old’s test debut played out at WIN Stadium.

Season Highlight

Round 21 v Gold Coast Titans - 40-28 W

A testament to the skill of the big man came in Round 21 at Jubilee Oval.

In the final play of the Dragons’ set, Cameron McInnes from dummy half passes to Corey Norman, who slips in a sneaky grubber kick towards the uprights.

Vaughan chases through while managing to stay on side.

The ball bounces into the in-goal area and Vaughan waits the perfect amount of time to play at the ball, keeping his hands and knees back and he slides along the ground so as not to knock on.

He makes it look easy as he smoothly grounds the ball with one hand and gifts his side their initial points of the game.

Representative Highlight

State of Origin Game III – 26-20 W

Vaughan bagged his maiden Origin try in the Game III decider at ANZ Stadium in Sydney and it was certainly one to remember.

Off the back of a break-away run from James Tedesco, NSW were merely metres away from Queensland’s line.

Damien Cook gives a short ball to Paul Vaughan, who barrelled his way over the line.

Three defenders attempted to hold the ball up and the referee pointed to the bunker for some help but called it a try on-field.

The video replayed showed without a doubt Vaughan planted the ball down cleanly and provided the Blues with their first try in what was to be an undeniably momentous game.

Off-Field Highlight

Baby Mackenzie

Paul and Elle Vaughan welcomed first child, Mackenzie into the world in January and she has been there to support her Dad throughout the season.