JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Regrets? I've got none for McCaw, says Higginbotham

Drawing the line ... Higginbotham knees McCaw.

Drawing the line ... Higginbotham knees McCaw. Photo: Fox Sports

FLORENCE: Wallabies back-rower Scott Higginbotham said he regretted nothing about the headbutt and knee on Richie McCaw that earned him a two-game ban in Brisbane last month.

Higginbotham said the suspension, his first in a four-year professional career, showed him where the line may lie between niggle and citation, but would not change his trademark gritty playing style.

''I don't regret anything I did, it was just football, I suppose,'' he said. ''I don't think I'd really change anything … I've been playing for a number of years now, and seeing as that's the first [suspension] I think I'm doing all right, to be honest.''

Higginbotham joined the Wallabies squad the morning of their redemptive Test against England after close friend and former Reds teammate Rob Simmons earned an eight-week suspension for a lifting tackle on France flanker Yannick Nyanga and Kane Douglas was ruled out of the England match with a knee injury.

It was a call-up he was not expecting, having flown to Melbourne to join his new teammates at the Rebels after receiving the suspension.

Higginbotham said he was ''filthy'' the ban cost him his spot on the spring tour initially. ''It was a tough week because straight after the game I got told I was getting cited on both counts,'' he said. ''It took about a day or so and then I got the call and the suspension and then I had to wait another couple of days to find out whether I was going on tour so that was three blows in the space of a week … I was pretty filthy that I wasn't going on tour.''

Happy to be available against Italy this weekend and fresh from two weeks' tough pre-season training in Melbourne, Higginbotham said the incident had taught him a lesson.

''That really did point out where you could get to and where to draw the line,'' he said. ''It's a physical game but I suppose it taught me that off the ball stuff you can leave out of it, I guess.''

The Wallabies will be boosted by his athleticism and tough on-field presence against Italy, who will be stinging from a sub-par performance against Tonga and a loss to New Zealand.

Simmons is still with the group while the Wallabies await paperwork from the Six Nations judicial committee that banned him for eight weeks. They are still considering an appeal against the ban.

Second-rower Cadeyrn Neville and centre Mitch Inman are also with the camp in Florence after arriving in London on Sunday as back-ups for Simmons, Douglas and centre Pat McCabe.

Higginbotham said he was surprised by Simmons's punishment. ''I honestly thought he'd get a slap on the wrist, maybe a game,'' he said. ''I wasn't holding my breath [for a call-up], I didn't want to get my hopes up then hear I'm not going over.''

Related Coverage

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

Follow Us on Facebook

Featured advertisers