When international rugby star, Richard Hibbard, paid our Gloucester store a visit, we jumped at the chance to pin him down for a quick chat. So what inspired this Gloucester rugby player to follow a career in rugby, how does he train, what’s his ultimate comfort food?
What inspired you to follow a career in rugby?
Being the youngest of four boys, I always looked up to my older brothers, who all played rugby. Seeing them play made me try playing it, and from the first moment of playing, I fell in love with the game. Also, being a slightly bigger kid, I found that I didn’t suit football. I started off playing for a local team, Aberavon Quins, then eventually made it to the club of Taibach RFC, which really helped me along.
Other than being a rugby player, have you ever had any other job?
Yeah, once I left school, I went to college for a while but didn’t enjoy it too much so I decided to look for a job. I worked as a window fitter for a good friend of mine, Philip White (WM Glazing), and also as a teaching assistant for a little while before eventually signing my first Pro contract.
Your proudest moment to date…
In terms of my life, it’s my family – my wife, Louise and three children, Tiella, Summer and Jaxson. But in rugby terms, I think representing my country, Wales. It was so special to pull on the jersey. It made all the hard work worth it. Also, being selected for the 2013 Lions tour to Australia. To be even selected in the tour squad was amazing, but I was lucky enough to be involved in all 3 tests and starting the series winning third test.
What does your weekly training routine include?
This is a tough one because, in the off season, it’s completely different and massively fitness, weights and skills based. But once the playing season starts, it becomes more of a routine of keeping on top of weights and fitness but all the focus goes into the games. A basic training week would look something like this:
Monday: Reviews (previous game)
Tuesday: Forwards units; Weights; Main rugby session
Wednesday: Rest day
Thursday: Weights; team rugby; High Tempo
Friday: Team run (just a polish plan for the week)
Saturday: Game day
Sunday: Rest day
How does your fitness/diet differ when you’re on a break from training?
We always get 5 weeks off at the end of the season. But it’s not completely off. I’ll rest up for two weeks then start light training to get ready for pre-season. You have targets to reach once you arrive back at training, for weights, running and body comp. Things have changed massively with pre-season training these days as, rather than being used to get you fit for the season, they are used to improve your last season standard and keep progressing physically, mentally and with your skills.
Diet wise, you can have a little break but the longer your break the harder it is to get back on the straight and narrow. We’re given body fat targets to come back in under as well.
Do you have fitness equipment at home?
I’m lucky enough to have a home gym to keep on top of things and especially prehab stuff (injury prevention). I’ve got a treadmill, rower, and assault bike, Olympic bar and weights and a selection of dumbbells. Then a load of resistance bands and body weight stuff.
Richard’s home gym
Your must-have piece of fitness equipment…
I think my exercise bike, as I can use it any time really, as it’s almost off feet training in terms of running. I’ve also got a paddle board which I find amazing in my off season, as it’s super hard work and really different to my normal training stuff.
The one food you couldn’t live without…
How do you like to relax?
Spending time with my family. Rugby is quite tough with away trips and tours etc, so I love just having time at home with them all.
Tell us a surprising fact about yourself.
This is a hard one, I said I’ve got a paddle board, but I also love kayaking and I ride a motorbike, which is class.