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NRL star Aaron Payne, and his wife Laura, welcomed their first child on January 25. Their daughter Naida was born at 2.20 pm weighing 2.5 kg (5 pounds 6 ounces).

Aaron is the hooker and vice-captain for the North Queensland Cowboys, and has played with them for the ten years of his career. He has been named their Player of the Year twice. Shortly after the birth of his daughter, he received the call-up to join the NRL All Stars, which plays the pre-season All Stars Match against the Indigenous All Stars. Players for both squads are chosen largely by votes from the public.

Aaron and Laura were married in December 2005, and shortly after her marriage, Laura apparently told an interviewer she was not planning on having children as she wanted the walls in her new house to stay white and clean! However, they did buy a house with four bedrooms ….

At the time of their marriage, Laura Payne (nee Richardson) was an occupational therapy student at James Cook University.

Naida is apparently related to the word naiad, meaning “water nymph”, from Greek mythology. It’s a popular name in Slavic countries, but seems to be fairly well used in Australia, especially Queensland (for example, the mother of Queenslander Governor-General Quentin Bryce has Naida as her middle name). It’s pronounced NY-dah.

(Photo from the North Queensland Cowboys website).