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Higginbotham regrets incident against McCaw

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James Mortimer     30 Oct 2012     Getty Images

The decision by Robbie Deans not to include Higginbotham on the end of year tour effectively ensures he will play no first class rugby until the Super Rugby trials begin in 2013.

Deans said taking the Reds flanker, who would only be eligible to play against Italy and Wales, would have meant another back row forward would miss out.

Considering that David Pocock is returning from injury, and will likely be 'carried' early while he completes his recovery, the Wallabies could not afford to have two option missing to them as they kicked off their tour.

Higginbotham has now linked up with the Rebels, with the Melbourne based franchise already beginning their training for next campaign, and the 26-year-old, a self confessed training addict, said to AAP even missing informal practice sessions hurt.

"I find it hard to keep myself out of training most of the time," he said.

"I had last week off and after everything that's happened it's good to get out and run around and get your mind off other stuff."

He said while he expected a penalty, he didn't think he would suffer from 'Double Jeopardy'.

"I copped the two-week penalty and, in that I also missed the tour, it's hard to swallow but if you do the crime you do the time and I guess I'm paying for it now."

"It feels like a double punishment but they have to cover all their areas and in that they needed a No.8 to come on tour to back up Cliffy (Palu)."

Higginbotham said the big difference so far between the Reds and Rebels was the size of some Melbourne forwards, a big statement coming from a man weighing 110kg and standing 195cm.

"Blokes down here, there are some big boys (as) being with the Reds previously we were a small pack," he said.

"We were a good team and we won the premiership with that pack but there are a lot of solid boys (here) and a lot of stuff to look forward to playing."

Fellow Wallabies Kurtley Beale and Nick Phipps also pulled on their training gear while injured Test backline star James O'Connor completed the session on his troublesome hamstring.
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