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Bearman backs Hibbard for Wales berth

Guinness PRO12 Editor

31 Oct 2012


Ospreys hooker Richard Hibbard has been backed to fill the vacancy in the Welsh side for the upcoming internationals by teammate Joe Bearman.

In the eyes of Bearman, Hibbard has been a “man on a mission” on RaboDirect PRO12 duty this season after enduring a torrid Test time in the summer.

The 28-year-old came in for some stinging criticism after giving away a pair of penalties during the second Test in Australia which allowed the Wallabies to take a victory which sealed the series win.

Hibbard was promptly dropped for the third Test but with fellow Osprey Adam Jones injured there is talk of a return to the side.

Scarlets hooker and former Wales skipper Matthew Rees along with Ken Owens are also in the running but Bearman believes Hibbard is the outstanding candidate.

“He seems to be a man on a mission,” he said.

“Hibbs has been outstanding, he has to be the Wales hooker.

“He’s more confident now people have been praising him, whereas in the past he’s been put down a bit.

“Being blamed for an international defeat can make some players more determined but, with Hibbs being in and out of the squad and on the fringes, I don’t think he needed it.

“A couple of boys have told him how well he’s been playing this season and he has really stood up to the challenge.

“He’s probably been our most consistent player.”