English Premiership is best league in the world - Richard Hibbard

Richard Hibbard
Richard Hibbard made his Wales debut against Argentina in 2006

Wales and British and Irish Lions hooker Richard Hibbard says the Aviva Premiership is the best place to play rugby.

Hibbard, 31, is preparing for his first season in the English top flight after signing for Gloucester.

The Neath-born forward, who spent 10 years at the Ospreys, said he is excited about the move.

"I look at the league [Aviva Premiership] and I think it's the best league in the world," said Hibbard.

"I think you look at the semis and the final last year and the intensity there was just phenomenal."

Hibbard, who has won 31 caps for Wales, says he hopes he will improve as a player from his experience of playing in England.

"I fancied a change and I'm looking forward to testing myself in a different league and really taking myself out of my comfort zone," he said.

Gloucester kick off their league campaign away to champions Northampton at Franklin's Gardens on Friday 5 September.

The Cherry and Whites finished their pre-season preparations in Wales, losing their final friendly 29-24 to the Scarlets at Parc-y-Scarlets.

The Welsh number two was impressed with the Llanelli-based region and believes they have the qualities to do well in the Pro12 this season.

"They took us on at the breakdowns," said Hibbard.

"They are a really physical and well-drilled outfit."

Top Stories