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Wales hooker Richard Hibbard signs long Ospreys deal

Richard Hibbard
The coaches' selection policy here is quite clear, they don't pick on name or reputation, they pick on form

Richard Hibbard

Ospreys and Wales hooker Richard Hibbard has signed a new five-year contract at the Swansea-based region.

The three-year extension deal sees the 26-year-old stay at the Liberty Stadium until at least the summer of 2015.

The front-rower has played 18 of 21 games this season, the nine-cap man a clear Ospreys first-choice ahead of current Wales hooker Huw Bennett.

"I'm absolutely landed, I really do love it here, I think it's a great place to play rugby," said Hibbard.

"The coaches' selection policy here is quite clear, they don't pick on name or reputation, they pick on form, and luckily enough my form has been good enough this season.

"It's a tough battle to get a place in the starting 15 here because of the high quality of hookers in the squad so I'm pleased to have been so heavily involved this season, and I know that I've got to maintain the high standard I've set if I'm going to keep my place.

"Given the length of the new contract, I've pretty much committed myself to the Ospreys for the rest of my career.

606: DEBATE

"[If I can continue to develop my game] I'd like to think that I could get the reward of a regular place with Wales, especially with the World Cup coming up next year, that's a big factor."

Hibbard has made 94 appearances for the Ospreys since his 2004 debut, scoring four tries, three of them this season.

But he is behind Matthew Rees, Gareth Williams and team-mate Bennett in the Wales pecking order, while a knee problem saw him unable to compete with Ken Owens for a call-up to the injury-ravaged national squad before the France match.

"What Richard has proven is that he is a true international-class hooker with his own unique style," said Ospreys forwards coach and former Wales hooker Jonathan Humphreys.

"He has worked hard to improve his line-out throwing and his scrummaging technique, which complements his obvious ball-carrying qualities, and we have seen him really develop into a quality player in recent seasons.

"We're proud to have him, and I genuinely believe that his best years are still ahead of him."



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see also
Edinburgh v Ospreys (Sun)
04 Mar 10 |  Edinburgh
Hooker Hibbard commits to Ospreys
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Wales' rugby fixtures
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Wales rugby results archive
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Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
RaboDirect Pro12
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Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Coming up next on Scrum V...
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