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Cowboys' Payne to retire in 2012

Veteran North Queensland Cowboys hooker Aaron Payne has announced he will retire at the end of the 2012 NRL season, drawing the curtain on a 10-year career.
Cowboys' Payne to retire in 2012
by NRL

BRISBANE, Aug 2 AAP - Veteran North Queensland Cowboys hooker Aaron Payne has announced he will retire at the end of the 2012 NRL season, drawing the curtain on a 10-year career.

But Payne, 29, won't be lost to the club after agreeing to take up a junior development role from next year.

Townsville-bred Payne made his first grade debut in round 12 2002 and went on to be involved in all four of North Queensland's finals campaigns to date including their 2005 grand final loss to the West Tigers.

His tally of 213 games for the Cowboys trails only teammate Matt Bowen (244) on the club's all-time list.

Paul Bowman (203) is the only other Cowboy to have wracked up 200 games.

"He will always be thought of as one of our finest players and what makes his career even more special is that he's a Townsville boy who was a one-team man with his local club here in North Queensland," North Queensland football manager Peter Parr said.


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