Lions 2013: Richard Hibbard seeking Australia redemption

Richard Hibbard

Richard Hibbard will return to Australia with the British and Irish Lions eager to make amends for his torrid time there last summer.

The Wales hooker has been rewarded for an outstanding campaign with a place in the Lions squad to face the Wallabies.

But when Hibbard last faced Australia on their own patch, the Osprey found himself dropped after a poor showing.

"On a personal note, this is a good chance to put the demons of last summer behind me," Hibbard said.

During Wales' 3-0 Test series defeat, Hibbard played just 14 minutes of the second Test but the 29-year-old made an unwanted contribution by giving away two critical penalties, the second of which allowed Mike Harris to give Australia a 25-23 victory with the last kick of the match.

As a result Hibbard was dropped from the squad for the third Test and his international future appeared in doubt.

"It was a dark time, not being involved in the first Test then coming in for the second and losing it, and then being dropped for the third," Hibbard said.

"It was difficult and, Australia being such a faraway place, it wasn't as if you could hop on a train and go home.

"But I used it as motivation from the start of this season, believing what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

Hibbard bounced back admirably by producing the finest form of his career, combining set-piece solidity with typically rampaging play in the loose.

The Ospreys forward now wants to use his experiences in a positive way and not repeat the same mistakes again.

"When I get criticism, I know how to dust myself down and I know there's not much worse that can happen to me than happened out there," he added.

"You don't get many second chances and this one comes with an excellent group of players, so there's a real opportunity to put what happened last year to bed."

The front-rower damaged a medial ligament in his knee playing against Glasgow for the Ospreys three weeks ago, but insists there is no doubt about his fitness for the Lions tour.

"I'm hoping to be back in training within a couple of weeks," he said.

"I'm pleased with the way it's going. When the injury happened I thought, 'I'm cursed'. But we have great physios at the Ospreys and with luck I'll be going at full tilt as soon as I return."

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