Wales take on England at the Millennium Stadium on Friday night in front of what is likely to be a raucous Welsh crowd. #TeamGilbert ambassadors Richard Hibbard, Jake Ball and Dylan Hartley will all take the field in Cardiff – we caught up with Richard to get his thoughts on the encounter and the rest of the RBS 6 Nations.
(Gilbert Rugby) First things first, it’s RBS 6 Nations week – you have England coming to town on Friday – are you going to beat them?
(Richard Hibbard) Well it's going to be a massively tough encounter with the good team that England has got, but hopefully with the good preparation that we’ve put in and the fact that it's in our amazing stadium in front of our passionate fans, I would definitely say we are going to win.
(GR) All the media talk has been of England’s injury problems. Does that place an extra pressure on Wales with everyone suggesting that your opponents are severely depleted?
(RH) No, if you look at the players they’ve still got to bring in they are going to be just as strong. They are a team that is blessed with quality players in depth, so you lose one or two in that position, the player coming in is still very good.
(GR) Are Wales better placed this year than they were last year to make strong bid to win the 6 nations?
(RH) I think the pressure is always there for us as Wales to perform and really go for the title. With the success we have had over the last few years we are a team that everyone wants to beat.
(GR) Will momentum gained in the next 2 months carry over to the World Cup which kicks off in September?
(RH) A bit will be for sure, but there’s lots of rugby to be played internationally and domestically before then so lots of things can change. Injuries will happen or new players will come along and put their hands up. Also, if you look at where we placed in the last 6 nations before the World Cup, we came fourth and then went all the way to the semi-finals. So like I said, lots can happen in between.
(GR) You’ve been on a British & Irish Lions tour but have never played in a RWC for Wales - what would it mean to you to play in a Rugby World Cup for Wales and how would it compare to playing for the Lions?
(RH) It would be massive for me personally as I did everything before the last rugby world cup only to be injured in the 55th minute of the last warm up game before leaving. That was heart-breaking. But you gain strength from things like that and it drives you forward. So fingers crossed I stay fit and then fight for my place going to the Rugby World Cup.
Richard Hibbard wears the Gilbert Chieftain Body Armour. Shop the range here
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