Richard Hibbard: Gloucester hooker 'can't argue' with Wales snub

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

Gloucester hooker Richard Hibbard says he "totally understands" why he has been overlooked for Wales' summer tour.

Wales have named a 32-man squad containing 13 uncapped players for the June Tests against Tonga and Samoa.

Hibbard, 33, won the last of his 38 caps for Wales in a World Cup warm-up against Ireland in 2015.

"I can't really argue with it - all I can do is keep turning up for Gloucester and keep doing what I love," Hibbard said.

"You always want to be wanted by your country but I totally understand where they are at the moment.

"They've got one eye on performances against these teams and also have one eye on the future."

Hibbard, who toured with the British and Irish Lions in 2013, has refused to call time on his international career.

Richard Hibbard
Richard Hibbard signed a new contract with Gloucester in November 2016

"Anybody who is truly patriotic would never turn their back on their country," Hibbard added.

The former Ospreys forward has been named Gloucester players' player of the year and the supporters' player of the year.

Gloucester, who finished ninth in the English Premiership, are targeting a third Challenge Cup crown having won the competition in 2006 and 2015.

They face Stade Francais in the final at Murrayfield on Friday and Hibbard said they wanted to make up for a disappointing league season.

"It's important for the boys to get some silverware this season and it breeds confidence and breeds winning," Hibbard told Scrum V Radio.

"That's what we need going into next season.

"It also gives us a back door way into the Champions Cup if we win on Friday, we've got a couple of play-off games."

Victory would keep Gloucester's hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions Cup alive, after their ninth-placed finish in the Premiership ruled out automatic qualification.

An English winner of the Challenge Cup would go forward to May's Champions Cup play-offs instead of the side seventh in the league, Northampton Saints.

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