Wales helpless as Hibbard joins Gloucester
December 16, 2013
Richard Hibbard is throwing his lot in with Gloucester from next season © Getty Images
The constant trickle of players leaving Wales for more lucrative careers continued with the news that Richard Hibbard will join Gloucester in the summer.
Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies said Hibbard's signing was another significant move for the club. "As with the recent confirmation of John Afoa's signing, Richard agreeing to join Gloucester next season is fantastic news. Balancing the squad, and adding depth in key areas has been a key objective for us, and this news is another part of that process.
"It shows where we're heading as a club. We're building a team armed not just with power up front, but also the ability behind the scrum to play a rounded and complete game.
"Richard is arguably one of the top hookers in world rugby. Clubs all around the world have been interested in signing him, so it's significant that we've been able to convince him that Gloucester is the right place for him to play his rugby."
Hibbard played for the Lions in their series win over Australia: "It was always going to be a tough decision to leave my home area, as I'm currently in my tenth successive season at the Ospreys, which is my local region and where I was born," he said. "I'm absolutely delighted to be joining a rugby club such as Gloucester, based in the heart of the local community, with such a tradition and with amazing support.
"I'm a great believer in loyalty and community and I'd like to place on record formally, my great thanks to the Ospreys management, coaches, players and fans for supporting me so well throughout my career."
For Wales, it is yet another player heading away because of the better opportunities and money available outside the country.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter