Hooker Richard Hibbard insists his appetite for the game is as strong as ever - as he sinks his teeth into another season at Dragons.
Vastly experienced front row ace Hibbard has achieved more than most players could even dream of in the game.
The Neath-born forward is instantly recognisable and iconic figure in Welsh rugby, with his distinctive blonde locks matched by his blood and thunder approach to the game.
The pack leader has won 41 caps for his country, was a British & Irish Lion in 2013 and has been a popular figure wherever he has played. Not that Hibbard believes he is now in the twilight of his career. Far from it.
“I’m one of these people who wants to go all the way and keep playing,” he smiled.
“With the way Ryan Harris (Head of Strength & Conditioning) looks after us and all the physios, the body is feeling great and there is a lot more rugby in me yet.
“Dean (Ryan) is a very clever man when it comes to training and he makes sure we don’t burn out. I’m still enjoying it and have the hunger.
“The key is always that I’m still doing myself justice and you want to keep bettering yourself.
“My favourite part is still Sunday mornings when I’m all battered and can’t move. For some weird reason I just love that.”
Motivated to succeed on the field and away from the action it has been a busy time of it of late too for Hibbard, launching a new business venture with The Hideout Cafe located in Aberafan Shopping Centre.
His Dragons team-mates have all popped in to support the business and Hibbard can only smile when asked why café culture was his next step.
“I’d always wanted to do something like it. When it became available, I went home and told the misses we were buying a café. I don’t think she’s forgiven me yet,” he laughed.
“It takes my mind off the rugby which is important. It’s vital for every player, to have some sort of respite from the game. You can’t be rugby 24/7, it would drive you crazy and you’d dwell on things.
“When we first opened it up, I was cooking and everything, I’ve done all my food hygiene certificates and I still cook the chilli. The recipe is a secret!"
Read more with Richard Hibbard in ‘FIRED UP’ - the new official magazine of the Dragons. The first edition is out NOW at Rodney Parade with in-depth interviews with the likes of Dean Ryan, Ashton Hewitt, Anuerin Owen and former US Eagle and Dragons ace Paul Emerick. The magazine will be published monthly throughout the first half of the season and costs just £3.
My favourite part is still Sunday mornings when I’m all battered and can’t move. For some weird reason I just love that...