Hibbard tipped for Lions honour

Fri, 18 Jan 2013 14:35
Richardhibbardtraining Matthewreesthrowin Kenowenswalestraining
I think he is the best hooker in Europe

Former Wales hooker Jonathan Humphreys has earmarked Richard Hibbard to win a place in the British and Lions squad for the tour of Australia.

Hibbard has been impressive form for the Ospreys and was named in Rob Howley's 35-man Six Nations squad.

His forwards coach at the Ospreys has paid tribute to his fearless form and reckons he is without peer in his position in Europe.

"I think he is the best hooker in Europe," said Humphreys.

"I'm biased but I spend my life looking at opposition, looking at other hookers' strength and weaknesses.

"The kid is 112kg, phenomenally aggressive, outstanding at set piece. What more do you want? The kid can change games.

"He is very important to us [the Ospreys].

"If it were up to me to pick [for the Lions] - yes he would be there.

"I thought he was phenomenal on the weekend.

"Here is a kid who has got a bad shoulder. We had to manage it all week and the first couple of minutes in the game he is smashing into people.

"He's a loyal kid. He wants to play. He wants to do his best.

"With one shoulder he was phenomenal and I hope he starts for Wales."

Hibbard faces competition from Scarlets duo Ken Owens and Matthew Rees in Wales' Championship defence.