Hibbard out to exorcise ghosts

British & Irish Lions hooker Richard Hibbard is determined to exorcise his ghosts in Australia. [more]

Hibbard out to exorcise ghosts

British & Irish Lions hooker Richard Hibbard is determined to exorcise his ghosts in Australia.

The Ospreys star has established himself as Wales’ first-choice hooker this season and was outstanding through their RBS 6 Nations title defence.

But the last time Hibbard jetted Down Under he was left contemplating whether he had jeopardised his international career.

He played just 14 minutes of the second Test but was blamed for giving away two crucial penalties, the second of which allowed Mike Harris to boot a last-gasp victory.

As a consequence, Hibbard was dropped from the third Test squad and left fearing his international career was over.

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"On a personal note, this is a good chance to put the demons of last summer behind me,” said Hibbard.

"It was a dark time – not being involved in the first Test, then coming in for the second and losing it and then being dropped for the third.

"It was difficult and, Australia being such a faraway place, it wasn't as if you could hop on a train and go home.

"But I used it as motivation from the start of this season, believing what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

"When I get criticism, I know how to dust myself down and I know there's not much worse that can happen to me than happened out there.

"You don't get many second chances and this one comes with an excellent group of players, so there's a real opportunity to put what happened last year to bed."

Hibbard damaged knee ligaments against Glasgow Warriors three weeks ago and feared his chances of touring with the Lions were over.

But his recovery is ahead of schedule and he is confident he will be firing on all cylinders when the Lions meet for training.

"I'm hoping to be back in training within a couple of weeks," added Hibbard.

"I'm pleased with the way it's going. When the injury happened, I thought: 'I'm cursed'.

“But we have great physios at the Ospreys and with luck I'll be going at full tilt as soon as I return."

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