Hibbard wary of Australia threat

Having got one over Australia with the British & Irish Lions Richard Hibbard is eager to repeat the trick in the red of Wales this weekend. [more]

Hibbard wary of Australia threat

Having got one over Australia with the British & Irish Lions Richard Hibbard is eager to repeat the trick in the red of Wales this weekend.

But the hooker knows that is far easier said than done, and not just because history is not on the Red Dragons’ side.

Hibbard featured in two Tests as the British & Irish Lions secured a 2-1 series victory Down Under this summer – starting the decisive third Test as 16 years of hurt were finally laid to rest.

And now the 29-year-old is turning his attentions to ending another hoodoo as Wales face the Qantas Wallabies at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday having lost their last eight encounters with the southern hemisphere giants.

But it isn’t just the record books that give Hibbard cause for concern, with the front rower adamant that Australia are a much-improved side under new coach Ewen McKenzie.

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"Since the Lions they are almost a different team," Hibbard said.

"They played well in the Championship and seem a different team over here, their confidence is high. It will be a tough one, probably the toughest of the last four years.

"Their pack has come under a lot of fire over the years but it's one of their weapons now. You can't say they are a weak pack, they never were, it was a myth. They're a strong unit and it will be a big challenge.

"But we expect to beat these teams now and having gone down and won with the Lions and been so close with Wales over the years, that hurdle is not there anymore.

"The Ireland game is a stark reminder of last year where Australia did it to us and scored in the last minute to win. We have to play the full 80 and can't give them an inch because they're very good at staying with you and then stealing it."

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