Rugby Player, Athlete
Who is Aaron Payne?
Aaron Payne is an Australian rugby league player. He has played for the North Queensland Cowboys in the National Rugby League competition throughout his professional career. His preferred position is hooker. He can also play at Halfback.
In 2003 Payne represented the Queensland Residents side in the Queensland Cup which resulted to his rise in the NRL. Payne had come close to representing Queensland at origin level a number of times but Melbourne's Cameron Smith was in his way.
Payne started his first-grade career with the Cowboys in 2002. During the 2005 North Queensland Cowboys season, he was the only player to have played every game that year. He played at hooker in the 2005 NRL Grand Final, the Cowboys' first, which they lost to the Wests Tigers.
In 2006 and 2008, he was named as the Cowboys' Player of the Year. He joined that award with the Cowboys' players' player of the year and club person of the year in 2008. He is also the Cowboys' vice captain.
Payne is often considered an underrated player, operating in the shadows of high-profile Cowboys players such as Johnathan Thurston and Matt Bowen. Former Australian captain Gorden Tallis has described Payne as the "glue" that holds the Cowboys together.