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Holm Truths: Richard Hibbard ready to lay platform at Gloucester Rugby

By The Citizen  |  Posted: December 27, 2013

By Mike Brown

Hibbard2

Richard Hibbard

Comments (11)

Having escaped the civil war engulfing Welsh rugby, Richard Hibbard is relishing the opportunity to pack down alongside John Afoa at Gloucester.

The Wales hooker signed a three-year deal with the Cherry and Whites last week and will arrive at Kingsholm in the summer, ending a ten-year stint at the Ospreys.

He completes a hat-trick of front-row signings as Nigel Davies bids to add muscle to an under-powered pack that has been heavily criticised this season.

While Sila Puafisi has already joined the squad, fans will have to wait for the arrival of Hibbard and Afoa but the British and Irish Lions Test starter is counting down the days.

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Throughout his career with both the Ospreys and Wales, Hibbard has been part of a dominant scrummaging unit, and he hopes to establish another juggernaut front-row at Kingsholm.

Hibbard said: “I’ve played against John many times. He’s a very good prop and does a hell of a lot around the field which you can’t say for all tight-heads.

“The signing of John shows just how ambitious the club are. Any team in Europe would have wanted him so it’s just a great addition.

“I’ve been really lucky to have been a small part such a good pack at the Ospreys, with the likes of Adam Jones and I’ve learnt so much from him.

“But now I’m really looking forward to packing down alongside John and hopefully we can build a strong platform.”

The impact, experience and pure scrimmaging nous the Lion and former All Black duo will bring to Kingsholm is undeniable.

Both players are masters of the dark arts and worth their considerable weight in gold around the field but Davies hopes their influence will go beyond the pitch.

“The last year with a Six Nations defence and Lions tour has been such a great experience,” said Hibbard.

“You learn so much from those precious moments and fortunately there were lots of good results in big games.

“You take a lot of confidence from those sorts of matches and if I can pass it on and help bring people up a level then that’s brilliant.

“But I also know I still have learning to do and I’m really looking forward to the challenge of playing with new players and working with new coaches in a fresh environment.”

Hibbard has already admitted it was an agonising decision to quit his home region but he was left with little choice due to the ongoing feud across the border.

With just a year left on his contract at the Swansea-based outfit, Hibbard sought assurances over his long-term future, something the region were unable to offer due to their own uncertainty.

But Hibbard is relieved to push the politics in the principality aside and is excited to make the move after seeking advice from former Wales and Gloucester hooker Mefin Davies.

He said: “I’m actually really happy to be out of all the politics in Wales. Players shouldn’t have to worry about all that stuff, you should be focusing on the pitch.

“The situation really isn’t good. The boys don’t know where they will be, what competition they will be playing in or anything like that.

“A lot of them ideally would like to stay but the regions can’t offer them the security they want because they themselves have no certainty.

“But I’m so excited to be joining Gloucester now. Mefin loved his time there and highly recommended it and Paul James, who is now at Bath, reckons the Premiership’s a brilliant competition to play in and he doesn’t talk much rubbish.

“I spoke to a lot of people about making the move and only got positive feedback.”

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11 comments

  • Sandy622  |  December 30 2013, 9:57PM

    All Gloucester Rugby supporters will know what a fine player Hibbard is, but all Gloucester Rugby supporters also know that what the club must consistently do is to ensure that Rupҽrt Hardҽn, our first choice and best tight head prop, starts as many games as possible, otherwise the scrum will end up getting mullered as it did last season every time Rupҽrt was unavailable.

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  • SamGlaws33  |  December 30 2013, 9:47PM

    At long last, with the signing of Hibbard, Pulasi and Afoa, some decent support alongside and to back-up Gloucester Rugby's best and most talented tight head prop, Rupҽrt Hardҽn. Strange, isn't it, that the self-aggrandising talentless spotter, with his scatter-gun approach of naming every prop from every corner under the sun failed to name our latest signing? On second thoughts, it's not really strange... it was sooooooo predictable because he actually knows nothing. It's like being at a seance every time he makes one of his comments. Is there a Mary in the audience? WINK WINK! WINK WINK!

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  • Rory-GIaws  |  December 30 2013, 9:38PM

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Laugh at the useless Gloucester Rugby and Rupҽrt Hardҽn hating Mick Gavaghan aka flinty41 aka flinty11 aka Django_G aka shedheadNEVER aka gloslover-not or DumbAndDumber20 or dopey_lerone if he prefers. He is soooo upset that he has been found out with his latest identity. He knows absolutely nothing about rugby union, sat in his sad home for sad lonely old men.

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  • sean-bulling  |  December 30 2013, 9:30PM

    Laugh at the brain-dead troll Mick Gavaghan aka flinty41 aka flinty11 aka Django_G aka shedheadNOT aka gloslover-NOT pretending to be a Gloucester Rugby supporter. The fact is, he is a clueless idiot who knows absolutely nothing about Gloucester Rugby or rugby union. In fact, he knows so little about anything that it comes as no surprise that his daily routine includes a visit to the job centre.

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  • Geraldo  |  December 30 2013, 11:36AM

    Harden is the best tight head at Gloucester by a mile.

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  • CrunchieMan  |  December 30 2013, 11:34AM

    Harden is a superb player and rightly Gloucester Rugby's first choice in the No. 3 shirt.

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  • David_Baldwin  |  December 30 2013, 11:33AM

    Harden has had a storming season. It is no wonder he is selected to start the most games of all the front row forwards. And not just any old games. It is the key games where you need your best players.

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  • TuffleyRader  |  December 30 2013, 11:30AM

    This is all well and good but what a club like Gloucester Rugby really needs to do is to ensure that Rupҽrt Hardҽn, our first choice and most talented tight head prop, starts as many games for Gloucester as is possible. They also need to get some decent back up in for him.

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  • Conrad-SeIby  |  December 30 2013, 11:26AM

    Harden = Top Man = Top tighthead.

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  • Geraldo  |  December 30 2013, 11:25AM

    Harden = Gloucester Rugby's first choice tight head. No doubt about it!

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