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Former Wales international Richard Hibbard named Wales Rugby League Chief Executive

Former Wales hooker Richard Hibbard has today been announced as Wales Rugby League CEO. 

Hibbard, 40, enjoyed a 19-year career playing professional Rugby Union; but since his retirement has become an entrepreneur. He now owns two restaurants in Port Talbot, as well as a rum company Mortal Bunny Rum.

During his playing career, Hibbard amassed 38 caps for Wales, and also represented the British and Irish Lions in 2013, and the Barbarians. He also played for the Ospreys, Gloucester and the Dragons.

Whilst he is more widely known for his Union career, he has also given the 13-man code a go. He won a cap for Wales Dragonhearts, and helped them win a Four Nations title in 2003. He also played for Aberavon Fighting Irish in the first-ever Wales Rugby League Grand Final that same year.

“I’m delighted to join Wales Rugby League”-Richard Hibbard on his new role with Wales Rugby League

Credit: IMAGO

In a statement, Hibbard said: “I’m delighted to join Wales Rugby League. Rugby league has always been important to me and I would have loved to have had a season or two as a player. But now I’m presented with the next best thing – an amazing opportunity to bring awareness of the rich talent we have in our country.”

He added: “I want to grow the sport of league in Wales the right way, from the bottom up, and shaping the game that’s right for Wales, creating opportunities both within the community all the way to elite levels, built on strong foundations. To do that, we’ll all need to work together. Integral to that will be strengthening relationships with our stakeholders, and creating new partnerships and relationships that are mutually beneficial.”

“We can never forget our strongest asset – the community of players, families and supporters”

James Davies, chair of Wales Rugby League, also commented on Hibbard’s appointment: “I’m thrilled to have Richard join us as we strive to develop and strengthen as a governing body.”

He added: “What Richard has achieved both as a player and a businessman has been impressive. We believe the attributes and characteristics he brings are aligned to our vision and cultural journey. He knows what being involved in an elite environment looks like and the importance of a strong balance sheet to support this.”

“We all know there is lots of hard work ahead of us, but Richard’s appointment along with that of some new board members in recent weeks, we believe we have the right foundations in place so we can build a sustainable high-performing governing body both on and off the field for the future.”