The two are on opposite sides on Sunday however - hooker Hibbard lining up for Wales while Rowntree will perform the role of forwards coach for England.
Twelve months ago, Wales romped to a 30-3 victory over England and Hibbard and co were crucial in laying the platform by dominating Rowntree's men up front.
But Hibbard is expecting a far more formidable challenge this weekend.
"He will drill them hard and they will want a physical encounter," he said.
"He's a true rugby man who is passionate about what he does.
"He loves everything about scrummaging and is proper old school and I enjoyed working with him.
"A front row is like a Rubik's Cube, you keep trying to work it out, but it keeps changing.
"That's what we have to do. There are new laws and we have to do different things."