Lions: Wales hooker Richard Hibbard determined to take second chance against Australia
Last Updated: 09/05/13 5:54pm
Richard Hibbard: Ready to take second chance
Richard Hibbard is determined to put last summer's demons behind him when he travels to Australia with the British and Irish Lions.
The hooker was left wondering if his Test career was over when Wales suffered a 3-0 series defeat to the Wallabies last season.
Hibbard played just 14 minutes of the second Test but made an unwanted contribution by giving away two critical penalties, which allowed Australia to snatch victory with the last kick of the match.
As a result, Hibbard was dropped from the squad for the third Test but he has bounced back admirably and deservedly travels Down Under with the Lions.
He said: "On a personal note, this is a good chance to put the demons of last summer behind me.
"When I get criticism, I know how to dust myself down and I know there's not much worse that can happen to me than happened out there."
"It was a dark time - not being involved in the first Test, then coming in for the second and losing it and then being dropped for the third.
"It was difficult and, Australia being such a faraway place, it wasn't as if you could hop on a train and go home.
"But I used it as motivation from the start of this season, believing what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
"When I get criticism, I know how to dust myself down and I know there's not much worse that can happen to me than happened out there.
"You don't get many second chances and this one comes with an excellent group of players, so there's a real opportunity to put what happened last year to bed."
Hibbard missed Wales' World Cup campaign in 2011 through injury, and when he was forced off while playing against Glasgow for the Ospreys three weeks ago it looked as though his jinx may have struck again.
The front-rower had damaged a medial ligament in his knee but insists there is no doubt about his fitness for the Lions tour.
"I'm hoping to be back in training within a couple of weeks," he said.
"I'm pleased with the way it's going. When the injury happened, I thought: 'I'm cursed'. But we have great physios at the Ospreys and with luck I'll be going at full tilt as soon as I return."