News24

Higginbotham has no regrets

2012-11-19 09:04

Sydney - Wallaby Scott Higginbotham insists he doesn't regret kneeing and headbutting Richie McCaw but admits learning a lesson from the incident which initially cost him a place on the Wallabies' Europe rugby tour.

According to stuff.co.nz website, a gruelling training regimen back in Melbourne has the aggressive flank ready to hit the ground running for Australia against Italy in Florence on Saturday after serving a two-match suspension.

Coincidentally it was a hefty eight-week suspension handed to his close friend Rob Simmons that resulted in Higginbotham's call up to the tour for the final two games against Italy and Wales.

The Rebels' recruit would almost certainly have played in the opening two Tests - the loss to France and win over England - if not for the ban he copped for kneeing and headbutting All Blacks captain McCaw in the drawn Brisbane Bledisloe Cup Test.

"I was obviously pretty filthy that I wasn't coming on tour," recalled Higginbotham as the Wallabies travelled from London to Italy.

"I don't regret anything I did. It's just football, I suppose."

But he admitted learning a lesson about pushing the boundaries from the suspension.

"It really did point out where you can get to and where to draw the line," he said.

"It's a physical game but I suppose it (the ban) taught me that that stuff, the off the ball stuff, you can leave out of it I guess."

Former Reds' player Higginbotham is considered a strong chance to take over at blindside flanker from Dave Dennis against Italy on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Higginbotham said he felt for Simmons, who was outed for a lifting tackle in the France Test.

"I obviously watched the game and seeing what Simmo had done I honestly thought he'd get a slap on the wrist, maybe a game," he said.

"Simmo and I are close friends. We've sat next to each other on the bus for about three years, so it's strange how it just had to be him who gets in trouble," he said.

Higginbotham said he did his best to overcome his own disappointment when he missed tour selection by bringing forward his move from Brisbane to Melbourne and getting back to work.

"I just decided seeing as I wasn't going on tour I'd go down to Melbourne and at least train for a month down there while the boys were over here," he said.

"That's the first pre-season I've done in a couple of years now. It was tough.

"It's been good training and good getting that sort of fitness again. Not just game fitness but actual running fitness."

Higginbotham enjoyed a couple of beers with his Wallabies' team-mates after watching their win over England at Twickenham and was proud of the side for answering their critics after the shocking effort against France.

"From all the media and everything that was going on at home it was obviously a big challenge for them ... but they all knew that and got the job done which was great."

Sport24

Comments
  • Jimmy NZ - 2012-11-19 09:22

    'I was pretty filthy' In your own words hitting the nail on the head! If ever there was a stereotype of convict scum, he is it!

      sharkie.fin - 2012-11-19 09:47

      Convict scum? Nice one you arrogant kiwi lover. Richie McCaw will continue to feel the brunt of players that are frustrated at his blatant cheating and the referees unwillingness to punish him accordingly. One of these days he could get injured very seriously by an opposing team member because of this. The IRB will throw the book at the player that injures Richie and that would be the end of two players careers.

      robert.p.gemmell - 2012-11-19 10:13

      Kiwi scum is my answer to you MaCaw got what every rugby player has wanted to do to him. the continued support from refs protecting him will also push players to do this sort of thing. And if you want the states to prove my point check this out. SOUTH AFRICA 1 Yellow Card per 7 Penalties, AUSTRALIA 1 Yellow Card per 9 penalties and NEW ZEALAND 1 Yellow Card per 47 penalties.

      marnus.lamprecht - 2012-11-19 10:16

      For being probably the best and most influential rugby player in the past 10y you think that Ritchie M is fair game? Why condone things like kneeing or hurting a player when he push the lines of general play. I hope the IRB takes note of Higginbottoms comments and next time he is found guilty of dirty play he should take the full grunt of the judicial system.

      jason.children - 2012-11-19 10:26

      Its a contact sport get over it!! Heart bleeding liberals will ruin this sport for the rest of us. Bring back amateur rugby where the boys would exchange blows and enjoy a cold beer together afterwards.

      jason.children - 2012-11-19 10:27

      bleeding heart even sheez!

      Jimmy NZ - 2012-11-19 10:36

      Oh shame little sharkie, you still crying? No poetry today or are you lost with more than single syllable words idiot... choke, choke, choke!

      Jimmy NZ - 2012-11-19 10:39

      For the rest of you, say what you want but you cannot counter Richie's skill set so you rely on thuggery... I don't see anybody moaning about Flo this week and he's basically doing exactly the same thing! The bitterness is strong with you bok supporters!

  • Michael Cassel - 2012-11-19 10:04

    When Peter DV (ex springbok coach) said rugby was a physical sport and not for ballerinas he was slammed by the aussie and NZ media??? then you have this clown saying he doesnt regret thug tactics. yes rugby is physical but it's rugby not MMA

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