Bumps and bruises won't stop Wales hooker Richard Hibbard's brutal approach

Bumps and bruises won't stop Wales hooker Richard Hibbard's brutal approach

Bumps and bruises won't stop Wales hooker Richard Hibbard's brutal approach

First published in Wales rugby

IF you're pottering around on the pavements of Port Talbot in 10 years time watch out for a giant, tattooed man with flowing blond locks going hell for leather on a mobility scooter.

Wales star Richard Hibbard is a man with seemingly no regard for his own safety, flinging himself into tackles and smashing the opposition back with ball in hand.

The 30-year-old Ospreys hooker put in a typically dynamic display against Italy in last Saturday's Six Nations opener and is still feeling the effects just days before the round two clash against Ireland in Dublin.

"When am I not battered and bruised? That's the question," he said. "It's the same every week, it just seems internationals are a bit more physical and faster.

"You probably recover by the Friday before the next game. I was still feeling it on Monday but we have new cryotherapy tanks and that helps with recovery.

"I normally can't pick my arms up until Tuesday, so throwing is out on Monday. I struggle to do weights all week.

"Everybody gets it and you are just battered. Men are big and fast these days. I said to my wife the other day that when I retire I'm going to buy a scooter!"

It promises to be another no-holds-barred encounter at the Aviva Stadium with Grand Slam, Triple Crown and and title hopes on the line.

Wales will head to the Irish capital intent on dominating with their power game while their hosts will look to stall their progress with their infamous choke tackle.

"We can't carry high because if we do it's going to be scrum after scrum after scrum," said Hibbard.

"We don't want that. We want a high tempo game. We've been concentrating on low carrying this week so they can't hold us up."

After an under-par performance against the Azzurri on opening weekend Wales will look to go up a few gears for what is sure to be a tougher encounter and a much, much bigger occasion.

"I love these games. The bigger the better," said Hibbard, who will play in the physical Aviva Premiership next season.

"I do feel nerves, more for the occasion than the actual playing of the game. I mess around, joke and laugh, but it's a bit different when I cross that white line.

"Fair play, the Irish crowd are a passionate bunch and it's going to be a tad hostile this weekend, but I love that. It galvanises us as a group, just as our own supporters galvanise us."

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