Emotional Higginbotham lauds Reds family

Super Rugby
by Emma Greenwood

Early in his career, if Scott Higginbotham's emotion spilled over, it was likely to lead to an on-field altercation.

But it was tears, not flying fists, the 32-year-old had to watch on Saturday night as he celebrated his 100th game for the state he loves.

While he has also captained the Rebels, played in Japan and will leave Queensland to play in France next season, little means more to Higginbotham than family and the Reds - and the two are intertwined.

The former TSS student joined a rare group when he entered the "100 club" and carrying his son Aubrey on to the field ahead of the game, before having Reds legend Mark Loane present him with his ceremonial cap after it, was an emotional experience.

"Walking out with Aubrey, that was pretty special, Higginbotham said.

"I walked in after the warm-up and saw him and got a bit teary, which was pretty tough.

"But tonight's probably one of the (most) special moments I've had.

Scott Higginbotham will play his 100th game for the Reds against the Jaguares on Saturday night. Photo: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel

"(And) to get presented with a cap from Loaney was special, he's a fantastic guy and was a fantastic rugby player.

"I'm an emotional guy, it's never easy for me to talk about my family and thank people at the best of times.

"What a special occasion, I couldn't ask for anything more."

Higginbotham was promoted to the starting side for the Jaguares clash in a move that was about much more than Brad Thorn rewarding his milestone moment.

Against a Test-level pack, Higginbotham played 80 minutes at no.8, making 41m from eight carries and making a try-saving intercept.

But it was his attitude that was as important as anything for his young teammates in their clash against a Test-level pack.

"It was physical, it's nice to get involved in those physical games and enjoy a bit of rough and tumble with the Jaguares boys," he said.

"They're a fantastic team and play a great style of footy, so to put up a really good contest against them and have the opportunity to win it is something we can really take positives from into next week."

 

Higginbotham joins rare company in the "100 club" after making his Super Rugby debut in 2008.

"It's pretty bloody special. To be able to play for your home state, one cap is special, so to get 100 and join a special few people - and a lot of mates of mine - is even more special," he said.

"I'm very happy to reach the milestone in my last year of Super Rugby, it's been a long time and such an enjoyable time, it means everything to me."

While Higginbotham will leave the competition at the end of the season, he is still mentoring plenty of players, including Reds captain Samu Kerevi.

"I'm really proud of 'Higgy' and how far he's come," Kerevi said.

"He's been awesome for this club. He's been a real strength in past teams and I think what he's added to the growth of players outside of footy and what he brings as a father figure for us, is awesome.

Scott Higginbotham on the charge in his 100th game for the Reds. Photo: Getty Images

"He's someone I've leaned on with leadership and helping me grow in that area and I really value him as a person.

"I'm really happy for him and this milestone."

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