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St George Illawarra Dragons National Youth Competition team halfback Jack Payne is proud to have been named in the NYC Academic Team of the Year for 2016.

The Macarthur Saints junior is part of the annual team and presently in his third semester studying a Bachelor of Physical Health and Education at the University of Wollongong.

“It was a really big honour for me and when I found out about being named in the team I was very pumped,” said Payne.

“I am presently in my third year studying physical health education at the University of Wollongong and when not there I am a teacher’s aide at Illawarra Sports High School.

“It’s a four year course so only one more year to slog out now before I am fully qualified but I know it will be worthwhile in the end.”