Scott Higginbotham to captain Melbourne Rebels

The Melbourne Rebels have announced that Scott Higginbotham will captain their
team for the 2014 Super Rugby season.

After filling in for injured former Rebels skipper Gareth Delve on numerous
occasions throughout 2013, the decision appeared a near formality, however with
a new Head Coach and CEO at the Club the Rebels took their time to ensure the
decision made was the correct one.

“Scott’s leadership credentials are there for all to see,” Rebels’
Head Coach Tony McGahan said.

“His ability to inspire his teammates on the field, and to communicate
clearly and effectively with match officials, meant that it was always going
to be hard for any of his teammates to usurp him into the captaincy role.

“In saying that, I wanted to observe Scott during the Club’s pre-season
before making such a crucial recommendation to (CEO) Rob Clarke and the Board.

Scott was, until recently part of the rehab group however his dedication to
his training, alongside great support from the Club’s physiotherapy and rehabilitation
staff, has seen him re-join the main squad well ahead of schedule.

“Scott’s efforts to motivate and encourage his teammates, as well as to
demand excellence from them, were unaffected by his inability to join the main
squad for training. I have certainly seen enough from Scott since coming to
the Club, as well as through working alongside him previously for the national
side, to believe he is the man to lead this Club and its Members to success
in the immediate future.

“I certainly don’t believe that Scott’s captaincy skill set is the finished
article just yet. The best thing about this early appointment is that it allows
Scott to continue to grow into the role, and to lead by example both on and
off the field.”

Higginbotham, who has 23 test caps to his name and exercised a clause in his
Rebels contract to stay until at least the end of the 2015 season, was proud
to lead the Club’s push forward as they look to build on small improvements
in their first three years of existence.

“It’s a huge honour to be named as Captain of a Club for the first time
in my career,” Higginbotham said. “I look forward to repaying the
faith of the coaching staff and the support of our Members by leading this young
and talented group of guys to success.

“I love leading the boys onto AAMI Park and it’s great to see how they
have taken to this pre-season in such a professional and positive way. It’s
been our toughest ever I and I can’t wait for the 2014 Super Rugby season to
begin.

“We are looking to step up next season, not just as 23 Rebels on the field,
but also as a code in Victoria. The Rebels now truly belong to the Victorian
Rugby Community and the aim is to have a world class Rugby program here in Melbourne
and build on strong foundations.”

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