Just two weeks after completing a century of league appearances for his home region, Richard Hibbard played his 150th game for the Ospreys on Friday night when they faced Benetton Treviso at the Liberty Stadium in the Heineken Cup.
The 28-year old became just the seventh Osprey to get to 150 in the region’s short history, and he joins the likes of current team-mates Andrew Bishop (177), Jonathan Thomas (173), Duncan Jones (166) and Adam Jones (164), as well as former Ospreys Sonny Parker (157) and Paul James, who tops the list on 180.
He capped the landmark appearance with a typically all action performance that saw him named the official Heineken Man of the Match, and after the final whistle he was clearly delighted with the manner of the team’s win.
“We knew what we had to do” said the hooker from Taibach.
“We wanted to build a platform, to take their forwards out of the game, and I think our pack did very well. We keep building and we’re getting stronger.
“We made a couple of mistakes and that let them back in the game but we did well to get our composure back and go on to win the game with a bonus point. It’s one of the toughest groups around, it probably is the toughest group, and every point is going to count so we’re delighted to get all five.
“Because it’s such a tough group a lot of people have written us off. Every team in this group is good, just like Treviso today, every game is going to be a tough one. I’m looking forward to going to Welford Road and putting another performance in up there.”
Having made his debut against Munster in September 2004, he became a centurion against Toulon in October 2010, and has scored eight tries so far for the Ospreys.
Speaking about reaching 150 caps this weekend, Hibbard commented:
“I’m absolutely landed to make it 150 appearances for the Ospreys. It does feel as though I’ve been here forever, but I think I can actually remember every single game, and every one has been enjoyable.
“I’m up there with a select few so I’m proud of the achievement. In the modern game it’s rarer than ever so that makes it more special for me. I consider myself lucky to have played so many games over the years. Hopefully the body will still hold together for a couple of more years and I can possibly get to another landmark or two in the future.”
Ospreys Forwards Coach, Jonathan Humphreys, paid tribute to Hibbard, saying:
“Richard has developed into one of the most important members of the squad, and has become a great player and a great Osprey. I’m delighted for him that he has got to 150 caps, the challenge now is for him to continue working hard and to remain a positive influence about the place. Hopefully, he can add many more appearances to his tally over the coming seasons.”