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Richard Hibbard to leave Gloucester Rugby at the end of the season

Richard Hibbard joined the club in the summer of 2014. Photo: PA

Wales and British & Irish Lion hooker, Richard Hibbard, will leave Gloucester Rugby at the end of the season, the club announced today.

He will "pursue a playing opportunity in Wales".

Hibbard joined the Gloucester Rugby in the summer of 2014, and says it has been an "incredibly difficult decision".

It's been an incredibly difficult decision. The reason it's been so tough is that I've become so attached to Gloucester during my time here. I've probably played some of my very best rugby in Cherry and White and I've enjoyed it so much."

– Richard Hibbard

Hibbard was under contract for another season. He says he has made great memories in the South West, but the opportunity to finish his career where it began, in Wales, was too good to turn down.

My family have been made to feel so welcome, we've made friends for life, on and off the field, and we'll always think of Gloucester as a home from home.

The support is second to none, whether it's the roar of the Shed before kick-off, meeting and talking to supporters around the City or seeing them proudly wearing the colours when we're on the road.

Gloucester's become a real part of me, and always will be and I'm proud to be able to say that. I hope people can see that I've bought into that, have always given it 100% and promise that I will continue to do so for the rest of my time here."

– Richard Hibbard

Director of Rugby, David Humphreys says Hibbard has already made an excellent contribution to the club's history.

We knew what we were getting when Hibbs joined the club – an absolute warrior – and he's more than lived up to that. The part he's played for Gloucester Rugby over the past few seasons cannot be over-estimated.

But, when we were made aware of the opportunity that had arisen, we felt that it was only fair to allow Richard to pursue it.

As is the case with Ross Moriarty, I know for a fact that Hibbs will give it everything in his remaining time with Gloucester Rugby. We'll wish them both well in their future endeavours when the time comes, but look forward to them making more memories here before they leave."

– David Humphreys, Director of Rugby