Paul was in the lowest or second lowliest team during the trial matches for the 1951/52 tour. He had been playing centre for Ikeys and after his selection he came to me and said: "Doc, I've been selected to play as a wing, but in fact I'm a centre."
I told him to go out there and play centre on the wing.
He asked me what I meant and I said: "You come into the line. Learn how to make the extra man and when to tackle and break." .
On tour some of the players felt that "Paultjie" (as he was affectionately called) was often in the way. I assured them that he was just finding his feet and that they would still see fireworks.
I'll never forget the last test match in 1952 against France. Chum Ochse went slightly round his man, out, in, and kicked a perfect cross-kick but effectively put himself out of the play. The ball came out quickly because those three fine loose forwards, Basie van Wyk, Stephen Fry and Hennie Muller, were always on the ball.
The ball again went out to Chum's side. He was busy trying to disentangle himself from the players on top of him, but Paultjie was there, having shot over from the other side of the field to take the pass. He took it further and one of the best tries I have ever seen resulted from his quick thinking.
When we returned from the tour, Stellenbosch played an intervarsity match against Ikeys and, by gad, Paul Johnstone played the fool with the Maties and they all but equalled the largest number of tries ever scored against us.
He really had extraordinary ability and was a splendid team man to boot.