Higginbotham drops Reds for Rebels

Wallabies and Reds loose forward Scott Higginbotham has signed a new two-year deal with the Melbourne Rebels.

The 25-year-old was expected to extend his current contract with Super Rugby defending champions the Reds, but he has decided to go for the more lucrative offer with the Rebels. With the Melbourne side losing captain and Welsh No 8 Gareth Delve at the end of the season, they have found a quality replacement in Higginbotham.

A disappointed Reds coach Ewen McKenzie said his team tried their best to keep the player in Ballymore.

‘We have to work within our structures,’ McKenzie told AAP. ‘We offered him a good deal and we’ve delivered a good rugby program to him that’s made him a Wallaby and that’s all you can do.

‘At the end of the day, he’d like to be living in Queensland and surfing the beaches up here. But the bottom line is we can only pay players what they are individually worth in our squad.’