Gloucester confirm signing of Richard Hibbard

Gloucester have confirmed the signing of Ospreys, Wales and Lions hooker Richard Hibbard for next season. The move is a huge statement of intent from the West Country club, as they look to address the shortcomings of their front five so far this season. Hibbard will join John Afoa in the Gloucester front row next year.

The Neath born player played for Taibach, Aberavon and Swansea before joining the Ospreys. He made his senior Welsh debut against Argentina in 2006 and scored his first international try against Scotland at Murrayfield in the RBS 6 Nations in 2013.

He played four times in the 2013 Six Nations as Wales retained the championship and then featured in all three Tests for the British & Irish Lions in Australia this summer, starting the decisive third test. In the recent Autumn internationals, he was named as Wales’ Dove Men+Care Man of the Series and has now won 26 caps for his country.

Director of rugby Nigel Davies confirmed that Hibbard agreeing to join the Cherry and Whites is another hugely significant move.

“As with the recent confirmation of John Afoa’s signing, Richard agreeing to join Gloucester Rugby 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,” he said.

“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.

“And, once again, it’s a testimony to the hard work and commitment of everyone at the club. We’re able to invest significantly in our team thanks to the backing of our board, the continued financial success of Gloucester Rugby and the significant investment made by our partners, sponsors and supporters.”

Hibbard himself admitted that he’s excited by the challenge of testing himself in a new environment but that he remains totally committed to the Ospreys cause.

“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.

“That 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.

“I’m an Ospreys fan, and always will be. I’ll just be supporting them from a distance! I wish them well in the future.

“I now look forward to this next exciting chapter in my life, and indeed that of my young family, and hope to help Gloucester Rugby return to the top of the English and British game.”

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

11 thoughts on “Gloucester confirm signing of Richard Hibbard

  1. Afoa and Hibbard are both excellent signing and exactly what Gloucester needed. BUT, will Burns re-sign? His deal ends in the summer and he has already admitted to be unsure of his future.

    I think there could by a fly half merry-go-round this summer, triggered by Jonnys retirement.

    1. Looks like Wilko could be staying on for another year:

      Also heard a rumour (from a reliable source, I might add) that Burns is looking to move because Gloucester are refusing to guarantee that he will be first choice kicker next season, after his kicking being so poor this campaign. Will be interesting to see what happens to him if Jonny and Flood both stay put for another season.

      1. Interesting – from previous interviews I was convinced that Jonny was done for end of this season.

        Didn’t realise that was why Burns wanted to leave – not sure where he will go if Flood doesn’t move. Saints? I know Myler has been better this year but Burns is a much better player.

        We’ll take him at Wasps!! Although I’m not sure that’s particularly realistic.

        Could Flood still go elsewhere in France? Clermont maybe? I still think there are many more twists and turns in all this.

        1. Absolutely, it’s going to be a fascinating New Year. Certainly can’t remember quite so many rumours like this for some time!

          Priestland’s contract is also up at the end of this season isn’t it? I’ve heard him linked to both Tigers and Wasps, so if Flood does leave perhaps he and Burns will go to one or the other? Would rather have Burns I think!

          1. Definitely! It feels a bit like football now, Transfer Window coming up! All very exciting.

            I’ve heard Priestland mentioned to Wasps as well. With Dai Young and Stephen Jones in the Wasps staff, I can see that happening more so than Burns.

  2. “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.”

    That almost makes it sound like Davies thinks Gloucester have not had a strong back line in the past. Perhaps he could watch some footage of the last 10 years……….

  3. Sounds like Hibbard is gutted to be leaving Ospreys, but I am grateful as we desperately need help up front at Glos. Anyone know if the rumour of Hamilton possibly coming back is just that, or does it have some substance?

    Not convinced that Burns has covered himself in glory by his recent comments, and if it is true that one of the reasons is because he can’t be guaranteed kicker, he should be putting in some extra practice and getting some extra coaching rather than expecting the job. If he kicks his kicks, he will be first choice – simple. Still don’t want him to leave though!

    1. It is sad that he is gutted to be leaving Ospreys. He is a great player and will do well at Gloucester. But its disappointed that he feels he doesn’t have much of a choice.

      I was interested to read about the Welsh Supporters Association (I think it was called) who are very irritated by the WRU and had their concerns ignored. Not good form.

  4. “It shows where we’re heading as a club.”

    I claim my fifty pound prize in the Nigel Davies BS bingo game. All he ever spoke of when he was in charge of the Scarlets was where “we” are “heading”. It was always a collective when things were not going well, and it was always a journey, they never actually arrived. Good to see he is carrying on the good work. I hope he stays that side of the bridge for many years.

      1. Yep, he’s well practiced in making defeat speeches – “We know where we are as a group and we will continue moving forward…” Snore…..

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