Australia No 8 Scott Higginbotham talks bugs, Bob Marley and business

What is your abiding memory of the 2011 World Cup?

What sticks in my mind the most was carrying Nathan Sharpe off the field after our third-place play-off match against Wales. Sharpie obviously didn’t finish playing rugby until the following year, but that was initially thought to be his last-ever game.

Do you have any phobias?

There are probably too many to mention, but my biggest fear would have to be of bugs. All kinds of bugs scare me: spiders, bees, grasshoppers, moths. You name it, everything insect-like scares me.

Any practical jokes you can share with us?

One of the best I saw was when I was with the Queensland Reds, alongside Daniel Braid. I remember him letting off a fire extinguisher in a van full of our team-mates when we were on tour in South Africa. There was white smoke everywhere and everyone was doing a lot of coughing.

What are your bugbears?

In terms of rugby, it would probably have to be try celebrations. I think some blokes tend to think they’ve just scored a goal for Manchester United in the Premier League when they’re celebrating a try.

Man United

Red alert: Man United striker Wayne Rooney celebrates a goal. Photo: Getty Images

If you could be any team-mate, who would it be and why?

I don’t think I’d like to be anyone besides myself. I like the way I play rugby and I don’t think I would want to play like anyone else. I do sometimes wish I could play in the backs, though. Playing at 15 would be fun – you get to kick a bit more.

Which person would you like to be stuck in a lift with?

You would only want to be stuck in there with someone small.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Out of any power, I’d have to say flying.

What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever bought?

Buying water while you live in Australia is pretty silly. What comes out of the tap is fine – what a waste of money!

What is your guilty pleasure?

There aren’t a lot of things better in life then some freshly-made scones with a little jam and cream…

Who would be your three dream dinner party guests?

The late Bob Marley and Heath Ledger, and Brandon Boyd from the band Incubus. Two great musicians and an Australian actor I’ve admired.

Bob Marley

Music man: Bob Marley performs in the late 1970s. Photo: Getty Images

What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the pitch?

It was in 2010 when Australia played Italy away. We were all lined up before the game and the people at the ground played the Australian national anthem twice!

What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?

It would be nice to own a few more businesses or cafés – I have a few in Brisbane – and also live close to the beach. I’d maybe do a bit of coaching for a local team, so I give something back to grass-roots rugby.

How would you like to be remembered?

I hope as a tough player but a great bloke on and off the field.

This article appeared in the September 2015 edition of Rugby World. For the latest Rugby World subscription offers click here or find out how to download the digital edition here.