Chris Heighington to play for England

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Chris Heighington to play for England
Christian Nicolussi From: The Daily Telegraph July 16, 2010 12:00AM

CHRIS Heighington looks set to finally pledge his allegiance to England and hopes to speak with new coach Steve McNamara in coming weeks about the move.

Heighington was overlooked for Origin duty this year after solid form for the Tigers and believes if he is ever going to reach the world stage, it will be with the Mother Country - not the Kangaroos.

The hard-working 27-year-old could even find himself playing for England against Australia in the Four Nations at the end of the season, alongside Tigers teammates Gareth Ellis and potentially Mark Flanagan.

Heighington, whose father Tom lived in England until his 20s, was reluctant to discuss the England move last night.

But he did admit Wests Tigers and Australian coach Tim Sheens had initially put the idea in his head.

"Tim brought it up at the end of last year and said he didn't want me going through my whole career without representing at the highest level," Heighington said.

"I agreed at the time, went back to my family and friends and discussed it and they were all happy with the possible move. If the Australian coach is pushing you to play for another country, it's obvious it would be hard to make it in the Australian team. Plus there are a lot of good back-rowers in the Queensland and NSW sides. There are a lot of good players in the England side, so I'm keen to speak with the coach in the coming weeks and see if he's interested and if I'd be a chance of being in the mix for the Four Nations."

Heighington has again been one of the NRL's unsung heroes and continues to power through a mountain of work for the high-flying Tigers. Such is his dedication that Tigers staffers continue to bring up the story of how Heighington one day caught a ferry, bus and train to training when the F3 freeway between the Central Coast and Sydney was closed due to bushfires.

Heighington said he had spoken with Ellis and Flanagan, who were keen to see him join the Poms.

He said to turn his back on Australia - and the chance to play Origin - was tough, but a luxury not afforded to a lot of foreigners.

"I'm sure Gareth would love to play Origin, it's the pinnacle of rugby league," Heighington said.

"But all I can do now is play well for the Tigers and hopefully the representative stuff takes care of itself."

Ellis said he would not be back for Monday's Cowboys match but hoped to return next weekend against Manly from a groin injury.
 
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Can't say I blame Heighno either, he should have played SOO this year.
 

Cultured_Bogan

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The plus is that the English will be much more competitive with Heighington there which won't hurt the game on an international stage.

Well done Daley you idiot, you've just made the Poms chances of beating us next time at lot more promising…
 

fulleightyminutes

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What are the current English backrowers like? Is Heighno a shoein for cracking the team (just trying to play Devil's advocate - I wish him all the best)?
 

MGB

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Gee I dunno, I really like Rhino he is all heart BUT it just seems to be the act of someone taking their bat and ball and going home to me, he isn't born in England and this just seems to be a way of playing rep footy on a technicality. I wish he would stay loyal to Australia (he is Australian) and just try his guts out to crack a rep side but I cant even pretend to understand how he must feel being overlooked so often, walk a mile in ones shoes I guess.
 

system

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Burgess, Ellis & Heighno back row is equal to or better than what Australia will pick
 

stryker

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@smeghead said:
Burgess, Ellis & Heighno back row is equal to or better than what Australia will pick

I'd say better mate.

Feel sorry for him that he felt he had to do this….In a way he is being traitorous to us, however he wants to experience rep footy and represent his country and he feels he isnt being given a fair go.

Personally I disagree with his decision as it is only the NSW selectors that arent giving him a look in and we all know what a bunch of morons they are.....

He has represented at country level and although he should have scored another jumper this year, maybe his performances last year counted against him?
He has also represented Australia through the PM's 13 in 2008 and 2009...

It would be wierd lining up and playing for England considering he is as ozzy as.....

If he was a Queenslander he probably would have played a number of Origins and maybe Tests as well by now.
 

Cultured_Bogan

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@stryker said:
@smeghead said:
Burgess, Ellis & Heighno back row is equal to or better than what Australia will pick

I'd say better mate.

Feel sorry for him that he felt he had to do this….In a way he is being traitorous to us, however he wants to experience rep footy and represent his country and he feels he isnt being given a fair go.

Personally I disagree with his decision as it is only the NSW selectors that arent giving him a look in and we all know what a bunch of morons they are.....

He has represented at country level and although he should have scored another jumper this year, maybe his performances last year counted against him?
He has also represented Australia through the PM's 13 in 2008 and 2009...

It would be wierd lining up and playing for England considering he is as ozzy as.....

**If he was a Queenslander he probably would have played a number of Origins and maybe Tests as well by now.**

He'd be a shoe in over Ashley Harrison.

Is he supposed to wait forever to get a look in though? Seriously, the selectors will not baulk on this. Jamal Idris and Beau Scott will be more likely to start in the second row for the Blues next year than Heighington. Gallen will be there forever, and Luke O'Donnell & Greg Bird would probably still be selected over him too. The guy tries his guts out every game and gets results every game. I don't blame him for going. At least the Poms will be treated to a star second row.
 

Phineas

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@crouching_tiger said:
Why didn't the current Australian coach pick him then?????

Derrrrrrrrrr Sheens!! :unamused:

Maybe because his form didnt warrant selection for the Aussie team??? Derrrrrrrrrr
 

crouching_tiger

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@Phineas said:
@crouching_tiger said:
Why didn't the current Australian coach pick him then?????

Derrrrrrrrrr Sheens!! :unamused:

Maybe because his form didnt warrant selection for the Aussie team??? Derrrrrrrrrr

Origin is the highest rep honour in the country…...Derrrrrrrrrrrrrr
 

tig_prmz

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WOAH!!!!! Burgess, Ellis and Rhino in the same team. That would be the best ever second-row. Aaah well, don't blame Heighno, there is no way he would ever make it to the Australian side but geeze it was so disappointing to see him miss the SOO.
 

Geo

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Lets see if Heighno continues to improve…stuff England..... Sheens should pick him for Australia......

Burgess, Ellis, Heighington>>>>>>>Thaiday, Miles, Gallen....
 

crouching_tiger

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If Sheens picks blokes like Lewis,Watmough, Hindmarsh and Gallen in the Australian team…what makes you think Heighington will get selected in front of those blokes by Daley and his muppets at Origin level??
Heighington would only have ever played Origin if Sheens selected him to play in the Green and Gold to show the dud NSW selectors what he would be capable of at representative level.
Sheens had the opportunity to pull the few strings needed to get Heighno his deserved rep jersey, but he opted for going with the "safe" option...
There is NO rule which applies to any player that he can't represent his country before his state.
 

diedpretty

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@tig_prmz said:
WOAH!!!!! Burgess, Ellis and Rhino in the same team. That would be the best ever second-row. Aaah well, don't blame Heighno, there is no way he would ever make it to the Australian side but geeze it was so disappointing to see him miss the SOO.

that was almost the tigers backrow until that telephone throwing gladiator stepped in.
 

mike

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@diedpretty said:
@tig_prmz said:
WOAH!!!!! Burgess, Ellis and Rhino in the same team. That would be the best ever second-row. Aaah well, don't blame Heighno, there is no way he would ever make it to the Australian side but geeze it was so disappointing to see him miss the SOO.

that was almost the tigers backrow until that telephone throwing gladiator stepped in.

Oh that would have been soooo good. Pity.
 

Marshall_magic

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He'll probably get a gig off the bench, I just can't see him cracking the starting side
8\. Graham
9\. Roby
10\. Peacock
11\. Morley
12\. Ellis
13\. Burgess
 

benjibrotown

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Good on him I rekon, doesn't look like he is ever going to crack it in the australian rep side. I think it's just unfortunate that he's playing in a time were there are so many good second rowers going around for Australia. I'm pretty confident that he'll get into the side somewere.. After all Gareth Widdop played fullback for them earlier this year so maybe they rank Australian based players over there own considering he had never played first grade before.
 
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