Jack Higgins’ comeback from the serious brain condition that he endured last year has been a major positive for Richmond so far this season.
Just the fact Higgins has returned to the playing field, after twice undergoing brain surgery in 2019, is impressive enough, but he’s also managed to have a significant impact within the Tigers’ line-up.
The lively, 21-year-old small forward averages 15.7 disposals, 3.0 inside-50s and 4.7 marks per match in his four games this season and he’s been one of the side’s best performers.
Richmond great Matthew Richardson paid a glowing tribute to Higgins for his fighting spirit and high football IQ on this week’s episode of the Club’s podcast ‘Talking Tigers’
“It hit home again on Sunday. I think one of the first contests he was involved in, the camera zoomed in on his head and you could see the scar . . . It just reminded you what he’s been through,” Richardson said.
“To come out and play like he is, and to be able to get himself back to the level, is a credit to him.
“He’s just a smart footballer, I reckon . . . He can start at half-forward, but he can drift up into the play, get involved around the stoppages, and then he has the ability to work back towards goal.
“He just knows how to find space, and that’s a natural footballer for mine – being able to work up and then work back and get into space.
“He makes thing happen, he’s always involved in scoring chains, and those sort of players are hard to find.”
Richardson believes the absence of Richmond captain Trent Cotchin and reigning Jack Dyer Medallist Dion Prestia through injury provides Higgins with an ideal opportunity to strut his stuff in the team’s midfield.
“We know that he knows how to find the footy, and he finds it enough at half-forward. So I can’t see why they can’t roll him through the middle of the ground a lot more now. That’s an exciting prospect for the next two or three weeks,” Richardson said.