Higgins hopes Wexford can breed success

Wexford captain Nigel Higgins has a busier schedule than most as he and his team-mates make their final preparations ahead of this Sunday's Leinster hurling final against Kilkenny.

Wexford captain Nigel Higgins has a busier schedule than most as he and his team-mates make their final preparations ahead of this Sunday's Leinster hurling final against Kilkenny.

Higgins recently opened a new boutique business in Enniscorthy with his partner, but he also combines this with running a transport company, an import business and a stud farm.

He had to put hurling to one side in 2005 because of all his business commitments but he is full of praise for those around him this time for ensuring he can once again give some commitment to the Wexford cause.

"I had a lot of work commitments at that stage and I still do but we are trying to fit it in somewhere along the line," he told breakingnews.ie.

"I was there for the first game of the season in 2005 and this year's championship game against Dublin was my first time back.

"We have four different businesses on the go so I'm trying to keep them all going - a haulage business, a retail business, import business and we have a stud farm as well."

Higgins made a very positive return and the team captain was one of Wexford's goal scorers in his side's one-point victory over Dublin. He feels that his side have learned their lesson from mistakes made during that game.

"We had a couple of simple mistakes which shouldn't have been happening but hopefully we can rectify them for Sunday and have it right on the day.

"We got the ideal start but we let it slip and we let them back into it and hopefully we can get an ideal start on Sunday and build on it and go ahead," added the former jockey.

Higgins was not involved when Kilkenny beat Wexford by 15 points in the league semi-final in April but the Rathnure player is delighted to be back in county colours.

"John (Meyler) asked me back in after the Kilkenny game this year and I rejigged things at work and got help from family and friends at home to give me a little bit more time to put in with the Wexford team.

"I was delighted to get back in there, to get a Wexford jersey on your back is every young lad's dream."

Getting up at 5am and not returning home until maybe 10pm due to work commitments certainly does not lend itself to a career as an inter-county hurler, but Higgins is taking all of it in his stride.

" Nine-to-five, I would love to see one of those days, I haven't seen one in a long time. Just for the sales this week you are talking every morning starts at 5am and a 10pm finish.

"You try and get something to eat after that," he joked.

He confesses that it did have an effect on him initially.

"Probably when I started first it would of but at this stage I'm well used to it and I can jig my body to work around it. I'll still be well rested until Sunday."

Higgins is as passionate about horses as he is about hurling and one of his regrets is that he did not make it as a jockey because of his weight.

"I have rode in Point-to-Point races in Ireland and England for three or four years. It took serious discipline weight-wise considering I'm over 12 stone now and when I was riding I was maybe 9st 2lbs or 9st 3lbs, so it takes serious discipline.

"It's a love I have, hurling, horses. If I could be a jockey I'd love to be out where Kieren Fallon or Frankie Dettori or some of those guys are - it would be great but my body does not let me do things like that any more."

But for this week at least Higgins' thoughts will be fully geared towards hurling as the 27-year-old hopes to be the first Wexford man to lift the Bob O'Keeffe Cup since John O'Connor did so in 2004.

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