Ospreys hooker Richard Hibbard hurt by fingers of blame but points to future

Richard HibbardWales villain Richard Hibbard admits that he was forced into hiding after being singled out for losing the summer series to Australia.
The Ospreys hooker, 28, has revealed the personal turmoil he suffered Down Under after being blamed for the decisive defeat to the Wallabies in June.
Hibbard apologised to team-mates for conceding two penalties in the dying moments of the second Test in Melbourne.
But he is adamant that he was not to blame for the injury-time penalty that handed Australia their dramatic 25-22 win and a 2-0 lead in the series.
However, caretaker coach Rob Howley blamed a “lack of discipline and emotional intelligence” for throwing away a first win over the Wallabies in Australia in 43 years.
And Howley axed Hibbard from the bench, the only change in the Wales squad for the Third Test in Sydney that Wales lost.
Hibbard admitted: “A good season of winning the league and being called up for the summer tour went out of the window after one mistake, and immediately became a bad season for me.
“I knew the management were angry with me, none of them spoke to me – and neither did a few of the players after the game.
“The next day we flew to Sydney and then there wasa team meeting where we were all told there was only one change from the 22 players – and that was me.
“It really hurt because while I did concede the first penalty inside Australia’s half, I don’t think I was to blame for collapsing the maul that gave them the winning kick.
“It was pretty difficult at the time and the rest of that week was tough. We were the other side of the world, I was away from my wife and child, and I was being blamed for losing the entire series.
“But I still had to do my bit as a member of the squad to help the team prepare for the final Test – and I believe
I did that.”
Hibbard, who was ruled out of the World Cup just two months before the tournament with an ankle injury, has had no contact with Wales management since returning from the tour.
Now he’s desperate to force his way back into the reckoning with his performances for the Ospreys this season, especially with the autumn Tests only three months away.
Hibbard added: “It’s done now, it’s gone and I have to move on.“It was very tough at the time and I pretty much hid from everyone for about a month after coming back, but now I’m looking forward to the season.
“I’d like to think that one mistake would be forgiven, and hopefully there won’t be any grudges.
“If I can find the form of last season I can put in the sort of performances that will put me in contention again.
“If Wales wants me, I will be there in a shot.”
MATT LLOYD

One Comment

  1. He should feel a bit of a grudge for three reasons;
    1. Gethin Jenkins pulled the maul down that lead to the penalty.
    2. Rob Howley is completely clueless and picked names and on reputations from the world cup not people who were actually fit.
    3. Other players lacked the bottle to put all three games to bed, Rhys Priestland being among a few

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