Paul Steinmetz had to bide his time for Super 12 honours after making the Hurricanes squad in 1998 and the Highlanders squad in 1999, receiving limited game time during his respective stays with them.
But the wait was worth it for the physically small but wholehearted and multi-talented first or second five-eighths, the Wellingtonian going on to play a test for the All Blacks against Wales in Cardiff in 2002.
It was also ironic that Steinmetz’s first Super 12 match was for the Hurricanes against the Highlanders in Dunedin in 2000. He spent 2000 and 2001 with the Hurricanes, as a back-up five-eighths behind David Holwell and Jason O’Halloran and then predominantly at second five-eighth the following year, before shifting to the Highlanders to play 22 times for them in 2002 and 2003.
For Wellington he played 68 times between 1997 and 2003, and was part of the 2000 NPC winning team. He departed for Ulster in Ireland at the end of the 2003. In February 2007 he resigned with Ulster for another two years and was a player/coach (backs coach) for the team in their 2008/09 season.
Steinmetz was also in the New Zealand Colts in 1998 and the New Zealand Universities in 1997,1999 and 2000, and was the student sides’ player of the year in 1999.