Higginbotham given the boot

Scott Higginbotham’s two-Test suspension has cost him his place in the Wallabies’ end-of-year tour squad.

Higginbotham kneed and headbutted Richie McCaw in the 18-18 Bledisloe Cup Test draw in Brisbane last Saturday and would have missed the first two Tests of their tour against France and England. Radike Samo appears to have taken his place in the squad.

‘To have included Scott within the 30 would have created an additional challenge in terms of selection for the opening two matches which would have compromised the group,’ said Wallabies coach Robbie Deans. ‘Scott was aware once he was suspended that this was a possibility.’

In some good news for the Wallabies, captain David Pocock makes his return from injury along with Stephen Moore, Berrick Barnes and Digby Ioane.

Wallabies squad: Forwards – Benn Robinson, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, Ben Alexander, Paddy Ryan, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Stephen Moore, James Hanson, Nathan Sharpe (capt), Sitaleki Timani, Kane Douglas, Rob Simmons, Dave Dennis, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Liam Gill, Wycliff Palu, Radike Samo. Backs – Nick Phipps, Brett Sheehan, Kurtley Beale, Berrick Barnes, Pat McCabe, Anthony Faingaa, Ben Tapuai, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Digby Ioane, Nick Cummins, Drew Mitchell, Mike Harris.