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Hibbz: I've achieved all I wanted

21/01/2022

Dragons, Wales and British & Irish Lions Richard Hibbard has today announced his retirement from professional rugby. Hibbz has issued the following statement: 

Well, I guess I’m very sad to say that, unfortunately, my body has finally said enough is enough. Disappointingly, it’s at such a young age of 38! What a ride it’s been. I’ve been lucky enough to do everything I’ve wanted, and more, in this great game.

While trying to write something to explain how lucky I’ve been to play the game I’ve absolutely adored, for such a long, long time, I think of all the people I’ve met along the way, who I’d like to thank, but genuinely it’s been so many. From the boys I’ve been lucky enough to have played with, each and every coach who slightly changed my outlook, the physios and doctors sticking me back together, the backroom staff who make all the cogs go around and all the kit men I plagued - even though they made it out that they pay for the kit themselves! Also, of course, my friend and agent of 20 years Rhyd, and all my family and friends.

Something that’s truly special in rugby is the bond you make with the ‘brothers’ who you go to war with every week, and not just the team on the Saturday, the whole squad, every session leading to the weekend. During every win, loss, winning streak, losing streak, trophies, injuries, the boys, they kick you when you’re down, and kick you even harder when you’re up. That’s what you do it all for, that slightly weird friendship. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

But the most important person who I want and need to thank is my wife, Louise. Everything great that is built, is always from a strong foundation, and by God she’s been mine. Through injuries, selections, travel, the day after games, grumpiness, Lou’s been the reason I’ve been lucky enough to do what I’ve done in rugby. Big thanks also to my kids - Tiella, Summer and Jaxson - who also help me get through everything.

Bit long-winded I know, but the only ones left to thank are the supporters - Ospreys, Gloucester, Dragons, Wales, Lions, Barbarians - you’ve all been immense, and it’s been a pleasure and an honour to get battered in your name! So, a big thank you too.

Hibbz

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