Higginbotham charged over police incident

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

Scott Higginbotham's return to the Reds has been soured, after the backrower was arrested for assaulting a police officer in the early hours of Sunday morning.

RUGBY.com.au understands Higginbotham was walking through the Fortitude Valley Mall in the early hours of this morning when he and a friend were approached by police.

Higginbotham's friend has been charged with public nuisance after he was caught urinating in the mall.

Police say Higginbotham then tried to force his way into the Fortitude Valley police beat before he had to be restrained by several officers.

It's understood a taser was drawn but not used.

It's understood Higginbotham's friend drew police attention before the Reds star tried to intervene.

"He has tried to play peacemaker after his mate mouthed off and it got out of hand," a police source said.

"Assault on police (as a charge) is pretty wide ranging - this is on the low end of things."

Scott Higginbotham has been arrested in Brisbane. Photo; Getty Images

Queensland Police confirmed late on Sunday that a 30-year-old man had been charged with assaulting a police officer and entering a police establishment without a lawful excuse.

Higginbotham will face court on February 21 over the incident.

The ARU released a statement on Sunday afternoon about his arrest, signalling the integrity unit was looking into it.

"The Queensland Rugby Union has today referred a matter to the ARU integrity unit concerning an incident involving Reds player, Scott Higginbotham in Brisbane last night," it read.

"The ARU integrity unit has subsequently launched an investigation into the incident today.

"As the matter is currently with Queensland Police, no further comment will be made at this time."

Scott HIgginbotham is at a crossroads. Photo: Getty ImagesThe QRU released a similar statement following the national body's, keeping a tight leash on what unfolded.

 "The QRU has been made aware of an alleged incident last night involving Reds squad member Scott Higginbotham," a QRU spokesperson said.

"As per rugby's protocol, we've passed this matter to the ARU's integrity unit for their consideration.

"As this is a police matter, the QRU is not able to comment further at this time." 

Higginbotham only recently arrived back at Ballymore, after a stint with Japanese side, the NEC Green Rockets.

This is the second public incident referred to the ARU integrity unit in the past year, along with the Force's infamous South African night out, that ended in suspension for Wallabies star Dane Haylett-Petty.