Scott has 'no regrets' over attack

Mon, 19 Nov 2012 11:07
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Wallabies flank Scott Higginbotham will not tone down his aggressive play, despite having copped a two-match suspension.

Wallabies flank Scott Higginbotham will not tone down his aggressive play, despite having copped a two-match suspension for his violent attack on All Black captain Richie McCaw.

Higginbotham, who rejoined Australia in London at the weekend ahead of their Test against Italy in  Florence on Saturday, said he has "no regrets" over the attack in which he struck McCaw first with the knee and then headbutted him in the drawn Brisbane Bledisloe Cup Test.

He said he learned a lesson from the incident, which initially cost him a place on the Wallabies' year-end tour.

But the aggressive flank, who was called up for the final two tour matches after Rob Simmons was banned for eight weeks for a lifting tackle against France, is ready to hit the ground running in Florence.

"I was obviously pretty filthy that I wasn't coming on tour," Higginbotham told AAP.

"I don't regret anything I did. It's just football I suppose."

But he admitted learning a lesson about pushing the boundaries.

"It really did point out where you can get to and where to draw the line," he told AAP.

"It's a physical game but I suppose it [the ban] taught me that that stuff, the off the ball stuff, you can leave out of it I guess.

"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."

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

Rob 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 appealing.

Lock 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.

"Seeing what Simmo had done, I honestly thought he'd get a slap on the wrist, maybe a game," he told AAP.