Richard Hibbard focusing on Gloucester after Wales omission
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 10/05/17 5:01pm
Wales international Richard Hibbard says he will "never be bitter or unhappy" if his Test career has reached its conclusion.
The in-form Gloucester hooker won the last of his 38 caps when Wales faced Ireland in a World Cup warm-up match almost two years ago.
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To the surprise of many, 33-year-old Hibbard was overlooked this week for Wales' summer tour squad - Tonga and Samoa await next month - but he has a philosophical outlook.
"There are some good players in my position - one (Ken Owens) has just been selected for the British and Irish Lions," he said.
"All I can do is concentrate on my club and really perform for them.
"You never turn your back on your country. If you are a true supporter of your country, you would never turn your back on them.
"I am no spring chicken and I think they have got one eye on the next crop of players.
"It's one of those things. I will never be bitter or unhappy if it (his Test career) has ended, I am always glad it happened.
"I am glad I had the opportunity and I am glad I played in those games against the best teams in the world."
You never turn your back on your country. If you are a true supporter of your country, you would never turn your back on them.
Top of Hibbard's agenda at the moment is helping Gloucester try to achieve European Challenge Cup final glory on Friday night.
The West Country club head to Murrayfield for an appointment with Stade Francais, live on Sky Sports 2 HD from 7.30pm, where victory would give Gloucester a third Challenge Cup crown following successes in 2006 and 2015.
Gloucester finished ninth in the Aviva Premiership this season after winning seven of their 22 games. Only relegated Bristol and 11th-placed Worcester won fewer games.
"We are not what where we want to be in the league," said Hibbard. "It is just as frustrating for us as it is for people watching.
"We have been up there with the best of teams at times. We have just been lacking when we've needed to back it up.
"If I could tell you why, it would be the magic bullet.
"We beat La Rochelle away in the Challenge Cup semi-finals - they were undefeated at home this season - then not to back it up against Bath in the league the following week was disappointing.
"None of us can really put our finger on it and say it is just one thing. It's more a collective of errors, which ultimately, is really disappointing."
While Gloucester edged out La Rochelle, Stade saw off Bath after a late semi-final comeback in Paris, teeing up an intriguing final.
"Stade are a good team," Hibbard said. "There are some world-class players there and if you give them a sniff of space, they are going to take it.
"We have got to be clinical in everything we do, and we just can't let them have any space.
"It is always good to finish the season with some silverware. The season has been up and down and it is about giving something back to the fans.
"If we do push on and win it, we can take that into next season and really build on it."