Wales and Gloucester hooker Richard Hibbard fit for new season

Wales hooker Richard Hibbard prepares to throw in at a line-out
Hibbard has not played since the Six Nations in March

Wales hooker Richard Hibbard says he is fit and eager for the new season following shoulder surgery.

The British and Irish Lion last played in Wales' final 2014 Six Nations game against Scotland on 15 March.

But the 30-year-old is back in training with new club Gloucesterexternal-link following his move from the Ospreys and says he has benefited from the break.

"It's my first full pre-season for a while, which is good. It'll help me a lot around the park," Hibbard said.

"I had a long off-season. I'd been injured since the Six Nations, so it's been a nice break and I needed to get back into training.

"It's been hard. It's definitely hard getting back into it, but I'm enjoying it.

"Injury-wise I'm feeling great. I'm like a new man with new shoulders - but a few games in I bet they'll be back the same!"

While he says he is looking forward to beginning his first season with Gloucester, Hibbard admits it was a tough choice to leave Wales and the Ospreys.

"It was one of the most difficult rugby decisions of my life," added Hibbard, who has won 31 Wales caps and helped the 2013 Lions beat Australia 2-1 in the Test series.

"That was my 10th season with the Ospreys and if I was ever going to move I think that was the time.

"I spoke to a lot of people who have moved on and they said it was one of the best decisions they have made to go out of Wales, just to have a new experience and meet new people."

Scarlets' Ken Owens took over as Wales' starting hooker against Scotland and continued as number-one choice for the two-Test series defeat in South Africa in June.

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