Richard Hibbard believes the criticism that the Scotland coach, Scott Johnson, levelled at him during their time together at the Ospreys was key in his rise to becoming Wales’ first-choice hooker.
Hibbard has been named to start for Wales in tomorrow’s tie against the Scots, with both sides harbouring title ambitions having won their previous two fixtures.
At the start of 2012, Hibbard was left out of the Wales squad for the Six Nations, and his then-club coach Johnson, now Scotland’s interim head coach, publicly said he felt the omission was down to the hooker being overweight.
“I loved Scott and I always got on well with him, except for that one incident,” said Hibbard. “When I read the headline, you take it to heart and the banter after it is the worst as the boys will kill you. But it gave me a kick up the backside, I dropped a few kilos and I started doing extras after training with Adam Jones, as we both tend to struggle in that area, and it paid dividends.”