Higham: Reality of Super League is hitting home

Micky Higham in training. Picture: Paul McCarthy
Micky Higham in training. Picture: Paul McCarthy
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Micky Higham says he is immensely proud to be leading Leigh Centurions into Super League.

The Leigh-born hooker has been re-appointed club captain after he played a major part in guiding Centurions back to the top flight after a 12-year absence.

I think all the lads are frustrated that for all their hard work there is no end product at the end of the week in the form of a game

Micky Higham

Higham, who started his professional league career with Leigh before going on to play for St Helens, Wigan and Warrington, is now 36 and is known to have designs on coaching when he eventually hangs up his boots.

“When Neil Jukes asked me to go round again as captain I immediately felt very proud,” said Higham.

“It is a huge honour to captain the team again and more so in Super League. It is
 great to know all the coaches and players are behind me.

“We have a number of natural leaders in the team and there will be times during games when we will need other captains on the field.”

Although Higham has been named captain, Jukes has already stated that, in line with previous years, squad numbers won’t be awarded until the club’s pre-season training programme is completed.

“The reality of being in Super League is now hitting home to us,” said Higham. “We had some great celebrations on achieving promotion and rightly so, but after three weeks of pre season the intensity levels have been very high. The new players that have come into the group have all fitted in and it has been a really good experience so far being back in training.”

Leigh have made several new recruits for the new season including former Australian international Glenn Stewart and French hooker Eloi Pellisier. Higham says the new recruits are impressing him and he’s been pleased with their impact.

“Training is longer and more intense,” said Higham. “I think all the lads are frustrated that for all their hard work there is no end product at the end of the week in the form of a game. Off the field the club is continuing to have a big involvement in the community and as captain it is important for me to set the right example. I’m a Leigh lad and I grew up watching the team not only at Hilton Park but at far flung away grounds and I was inspired to want to play for the club by the way the players then interacted with the fans.

“I’ve no problems giving up a few hours a week going around the town and if I can help inspire someone to want to play for Leigh, keep on playing the game or have an involvement in rugby league or supporting the team then it makes it worthwhile. It’s a very important part of being a professional rugby league player.”

Leigh coach Neil Jukes said the decision to keep faith with Higham as club captain was a simple decision. He said: “Every new season brings fresh challenges and there are many decisions to be made. But this was the easiest decision to reach. M

“Micky is everything you would want from a captain