Double blow for Higginbotham
Scott Higginbotham has been handed a two-week suspension for striking Richie McCaw and will miss the Tests against France and England next month.
Scott Higginbotham has been handed a two-week suspension for his altercation with Richie McCaw and will miss the Tests against France and England next month.
The Wallabies loose forward pleaded guilty to two counts of striking the All Blacks skipper in their Bledisloe Cup encounter in Brisbane on Saturday, and will only be available for the last two Tests of the Wallabies' year-end tour against Italy and Wales.
Duty Judicial Officer, Jannie Lubbe, assessed the case and having reviewed the incident, the reports by the referee and Citing Commissioner as well as a medical report from the All Blacks team doctor and submissions by the legal representatives of the player he decided that a two-week suspension is sufficient.
Higginbotham made contact with McCaw's face with his knee before going on to headbutt the All Blacks flank.
Lubbe found that
1. Both incidents were categorised as low entry level. The hitting with the knee was more of a bump than a hit. The head butt was reckless and not executed with much force. McCaw was not injured and play resumed.
2. The Player has an exemplary disciplinary record and at the age of 26 it was his first appearance before a Judiciary.
3. The Player pleaded guilty and placed on record that he and McCaw shook hands after the match and that there are no ill feelings.
As such Higginbotham has been suspended for two weeks on both counts from all forms of the game.
Lubbe determined a sanction of two weeks on both counts to run concurrently, which was agreed upon by Higginbotham, to be appropriate.