Higginbotham heading to Japan

Date published: January 5 2015

Scott Higginbotham is the latest Wallaby to head overseas after signing a deal to move to Japan after the World Cup.

The Rebels back rower will leave Melbourne after the showpiece event in England at the end of this year, putting his international career on hold as a result.

He follows the likes of Adam Ashley-Cooper and James Horwill in announcing their departures from Australian Rugby at the end of this year.

“I love the Rebels, and I also love every opportunity to play for my country; I’ll always be grateful for the opportunities I have been given in Australia,” said Higginbotham, who has 31 caps to his name.

“I’m so excited for the season ahead with the Rebels and the Wallabies, and all the success to be had in 2015.”

Meanwhile Rebels boss Tony McGahan was grateful for everything Higginbotham has done at the club since arriving from the Reds two years ago.

And while Higginbotham, who captained the team last season, has made a big impact in Melbourne, McGahan believes the franchise will be able to replace the 28-year-old.

“Scott has been an important part of our squad and wonderful ambassador for the franchise and Victorian Rugby over the last two seasons, and will continue to be in 2015,” McGahan said.

“Scott will be missed; however his departure at the end of the 2015 season provides an exciting opportunity for the next young Rebels player to push through in back row positions.

“Our consistent recruitment and retention program over the last twelve months will allow the franchise to move forward in the best possible direction.”