SYDNEY, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Former Australia number eight Scott Higginbotham has been charged with assaulting an officer after being arrested at a police station in Brisbane in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The 30-year-old Higginbotham, who played the last of his 32 tests in 2015, was charged following an incident at the Brunswick Street police station in Fortitude Valley, Queensland Police said.
“The 30-year-old has been charged with one count each of assaulting police and being found in a police establishment without a lawful excuse,” said a police statement.
Fortitude Valley is an area known for its lively bar scene and local media reports said one of Higginbotham’s friends had earlier been arrested for urinating in public.
The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) said it had been informed of the matter.
“The ARU integrity unit has subsequently launched an investigation into the incident,” ARU chief Bill Pulver said in a statement.
“As the matter is currently with Queensland Police, no further comment will be made at this time.”
Higginbotham last year signed a long-term deal to return to the Queensland Reds, who he helped to the 2011 Super Rugby title, after two seasons at the Melbourne Rebels and a spell in Japan.
At his best a highly effective ball carrier, Higginbotham’s indiscipline on the pitch probably cost him the chance to win more Wallabies caps.
The Reds host South Africa’s Sharks in their Super Rugby season-opener at Lang Park on Feb. 24. (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Peter Rutherford)