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Hibbard backed for a return to form

Hibbard backed for a return to form

Richard Hibbard will be relishing the prospect of reclaiming his place as Wales’ first choice hooker but the British & Irish Lion has a lot of competition, according to forwards coach Robin McBryde.

Richard Hibbard will be relishing the prospect of reclaiming his place as Wales’ first choice hooker but the British & Irish Lion has a lot of competition, according to forwards coach Robin McBryde.

Hibbard was one of four hookers named in Warren Gatland's 47-man World Cup training squad earlier this week alongside Ospreys’ Scott Baldwin, Scarlets captain Ken Owens and Cardiff Blues' Kristian Dacey.
 
The Gloucester man was a Test Lion in 2013 and Wales' player of the autumn just a few months later, but he lost his starting place in the side earlier this year.
 
McBryde admits a combination of fitness and form has hindered Hibbard of late – but he’s backing the 31-year-old to bounce back in the face of stiff competition.
 
"Richard wasn't happy with the fact he didn't finish the Six Nations as the number one hooker," McBryde told the South Wales Evening Post.
 
"Injuries and form played a part in that. Certainly, Scott had a strong Six Nations. And, on the basis of his performance against Italy and ever since that, Ken has really hit the ground running after his rehab from a neck injury.
 
"It is good competitiveness and it sends out a strong message, stronger than any coach can put out, the form of other players vying for the position."
 
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