Gloucester, Wales and Lions hooker Richard Hibbard has revealed the pain he had to play through at times during last season.
Gloucester, Wales and British and Irish Lions hooker Richard Hibbard has revealed the pain he had to play through at times during last season.
Hibbard was virtually unable to lift his arm after Wales' second Six Nations match – a 26-3 defeat to Ireland in Dublin – and although he continued to play for the rest of the tournament, he eventually had to undergo surgery on the injury.
That surgery meant he missed Wales' tour of South Africa, but he is now fully fit and ready for a new challenge after joining the Cherry and Whites from the Ospreys.
Hibbard is ready to put his body back on the line but admits that his physical approach came at a cost with that shoulder injury.
“The shoulder was gradually getting worse and worse,” he told Walesonline.
“Coming back from the Lions, I had a short break, played some rugby with the Ospreys, had some hard autumn internationals and it started taking its toll by Christmas.
“By the second game of the Six Nations I could hardly lift my arm up so I knew it was just a matter of time before I was broken.”
Hibbard is disappointed to have missed Wales' trip to South Africa, but believes his enforced break will benefit him during the upcoming season.
“It was frustrating and it's difficult being injured, but the only time you really get a rest is when you're injured,” he said.
“I'm gutted I missed the tour, but I'm also glad I've had time to rest up.
“It's all good now. I can't wait to get on the pitch with Gloucester.
“It will be like the first day of school and you want to impress the teachers.
“The fans can expect nothing less than what I always do. The day I stop doing that is the day I have to stop, I won't change my game no matter who I am playing for or how old I am, I have to be leading from the front.”