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Growing up in Temora, Todd Payten signed on to a scholarship with the Raiders at 16.

A student at Erindale College, Payten had played just two reserve-grade games when he made his first grade debut with Canberra in 1996. Payten continued to have a career with the Raiders that spanned 90 premiership matches before he joined the Roosters on a one year deal in 2003.

Payten joined the Wests Tigers in 2004 and played a prominent role in the club winning its first premiership in 2005.