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Hibbz hungry for more action

30/07/2021

Hooker Richard Hibbard is determined to continue his long and illustrious career as he enters his 20th pre-season - insisting there is still plenty in the tank ahead of the new campaign.

Dragons started preparations for the new season last week with the players all gathering for pre-season ahead of the inaugural United Rugby Championship campaign.

Evergreen front row Hibbard has experienced more pre-seasons than most in the squad and admits it has been a tough two weeks in camp.

But the 37-year-old insists he is just enjoying being back on the field with the boys and that there is lots he wants to achieve in the game.

“I’ve found pre-season so far the same as how I found the last 19… savage… absolutely savage,” he laughed.

“For some reason they’ve lost my GPS so they don’t really know how much we are running yet - they’re killing me!

“It’s been fun. It always come in full circle, one year it’s more weights and the next it’s all running. This year has been running plus more running and topped off with a bit of running so I’m really enjoying it… as you can tell.

“There is definitely plenty left in the tank, but we’ll see how long that lasts if Dan (Baugh) keeps pushing me.

“But I always love it. I love getting on the pitch with the boys, it’s what I do, what I enjoy and that’s why I’ve done it for so long.”

Last season the Men of Gwent finished the regular campaign strongly before utilising the Rainbow Cup as an opportunity to bring some young talent into the senior set-up.

The likes of Ben Carter and Aneurin Owen had breakthrough campaigns and completed their rapid rise with a national call-up for the summer Test fixtures against Canada and Argentina.

And former Welsh international Hibbard has been impressed with the youngsters at the region who have pushed the side on.

“I’m definitely excited for the season to get going now, you can see some of the young faces come through last year and push us on as a team,” he said.

“They didn’t just come in to be there, they have come in and pushed us on and a lot of them got the reward for that in the summer with Wales.

“That was fantastic and it’s nice to see a young crop of youngsters coming through and push us all to new heights.

Hibbard continued: “It’s great to see the changes made to the league.

“I love playing against the South African teams because you know they only go in one direction and that’s straight. It’s a bit easier for the likes of me to defend!

“It’s always good to challenge yourself and we will challenge ourselves this year in a different competition against different teams.

“A lot of the boys want to face these new players and teams so it will be good and exciting experience for us.”

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I love getting on the pitch with the boys, it’s what I do, what I enjoy and that’s why I’ve done it for so long...
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