Six Nations 2014: Richard Hibbard set to undergo shoulder surgery

Six Nations 2014: Richard Hibbard is set to undergo shoulder surgery at the end of the Six Nations championship

Richard Hibbard is the latest Wales star to undergo shoulder surgery after a bruising Six Nations championship.

The tough tackling forward joins international colleagues Scott Williams, Leigh Halfpenny and Sam Warburton on the sidelines with a shoulder injury, albeit one which has been an ongoing problem than enforced by injury picked up during the championship.

The 32-year-old, who has become a cult hero with Welsh rugby fans for his disregard for his body in making bone crunching tackles on opponents, is now unlikely to feature again for his hometown region before a summer move to Gloucester Rugby.

“Richard has an ongoing shoulder problem that has been troubling him, and after returning to the region this week he feels unable to continue playing,” said Ospreys medical performance manager Chris Towers.

“It is in his best interests to get this issue resolved and he will undergo surgery today.

“The expected minimum recovery time for such a procedure means it is unlikely he will play again between now and the end of the season.”

Hibbard has played in 35 matches in the last 12 months for the Ospreys, Wales and British and Irish Lions, but now looks to be another major doubt for Wales’ tour of South Africa.

His place in the Wales squad is likely to be contested between Scarlets duo Ken Owens—who started ahead of Hibbard in the final Six Nations match against Scotland—and Emyr Phillips, while his understudy at Ospreys, Scott Baldwin, and Cardiff Blues’ Kristian Dacey could also find themselves in contention.

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