Richard Hibbard to leave Gloucester at end of season

Richard Hibbard will leave Gloucester at the end of the season
Richard Hibbard will leave Gloucester at the end of the season

Gloucester have confirmed that hooker Richard Hibbard will make an exit from the Aviva Premiership club at the end of the ongoing season.

The decision follows after the Wales international has penned a three-year contract with Newport-based club Dragons. Hibbard joined the Cherry and Whites in 2014 after spending 10 years with Ospreys.

The 34-year-old made his Wales debut in 2006 and has gone on to make 41 Test appearances with three of it coming for the British and Irish Lions during the 2013 tour of Australia.

"It's been an incredibly difficult decision," Hibbard said, in a statement released by the club.

"The reason it's been so tough is that I have become so attached to Gloucester during my time here. I've probably played some of my very best rugby in Cherry and White, and I've enjoyed it so much.

"Gloucester has become a real part of me, and always will be, and I am proud to be able to say that.

"I hope people can see that I've bought into that, have always given it 100 per cent and promise that I will continue to do so for the rest of my time here.

"Finishing my career in Wales is important to me, though, and this opportunity has probably come a little sooner than I expected. But to have the chance to finish on a high, back home in Wales in front of family and friends, is an exciting one."

Gloucester rugby director David Humphreys added: "We knew what we were getting when 'Hibbs' joined the club - an absolute warrior - and he has more than lived up to that.

"The part he has played for Gloucester Rugby over the past few seasons cannot be over-estimated."

The Dragons, meanwhile, confirmed Hibbard's arrival, as he becomes their latest signing as part of a major rebuilding project.

"Richard is an outstanding hooker and is someone that will add to our squad on and off the field," Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman told the Welsh region's official website.

"He has huge experience at the highest level, and given that we have a very young squad at present, that expertise will be invaluable."

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