Higginbotham joins post-World Cup exodus
ESPN Staff
January 5, 2015
Scott Higginbotham will head to Japan after this year's World Cup © Getty Images

The post Rugby World Cup exodus continues with Wallabies back-rower Scott Higginbotham the latest player to confirm he'll head off-shore following this year's showpiece event.

The Melbourne Rebels captain won't follow fellow Test team-mates James Horwill and Adam Ashley-Cooper to Europe however, instead deciding on a move to the Japanese Top League.

Higginbotham took over from Gareth Delve as Melbourne captain at the start of last season and while the Rebels finished in last place, the skipper was consistently among the side's top performers. Rebels coach Tony McGahan paid tribute to Higginbotham, saying the back-rower had been a fine ambassador for rugby in Victoria.

"Scott has been an important part of our squad and wonderful ambassador for the Club and Victorian Rugby over the last two seasons, and will continue to be in 2015," McGahan said via a Rebels media release.

"Scott will be missed; however his departure at the end of the 2015 season provides an exciting opportunity for the next young Rebels player to push through in back row positions. Our consistent recruitment and retention program over the last twelve months will allow the club to move forward in the best possible direction."

Higginbotham said he was looking forward to a big season in 2015. "I love the Rebels, and I also love every opportunity to play for my country; I'll always be grateful for the opportunities I have been given in Australia," Higginbotham said. "I'm so excited for the season ahead with the Rebels and the Wallabies, and all the success to be had in 2015."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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