'Ospreys pack power can be Wales ace'
RICHARD Hibbard believes the selection of an Ospreys-dominated Wales pack will have planted seeds of doubt in Scott Johnson's mind ahead of the Six Nations clash at Murrayfield tomorrow.
The Liberty contingent of Hibbard, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans and Ryan Jones, plus Paul James, all worked with the current Scotland coach during his 30-month spell as their director of coaching.
They drove the Ospreys to a league title under Johnson in 2010 and, according to Hibbard, the charismatic Australian will be wary of what they can do heading into the game in Edinburgh.
"Seeing our pack, he will be concerned as it was the pack he built his team around at the Ospreys," said Hibbard.
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"He knows what that front five can offer and what it has done for him.
"And he'll know Scotland will need to be on their game."
The encounter in the Scottish capital will be the first time for the Ospreys players to come across Johnson after his departure from the region 13 months ago. Hibbard could be forgiven for having special reason for wanting to prove a point after Johnson questioned his conditioning towards the end of his reign in Swansea.
But the hooker insists there are no hard feelings and is adamant his sole motivation this weekend will be to do well for the team.
"It's not about me as an individual," he said.
"I will stick to what we do as a team and, fingers crossed, it goes well at set-piece and I can get my hands on the ball. Johnno is Johnno. 'We all thought this week he might do the opposite of what he normally does and keep quiet, but there has still been the odd remark, and there's still time for a few more grenades yet.
"He's a great character, someone who is unpredictable and you never know what he will do or say.
"A few people have said he is untested at international level and so will have a point to prove, but he is more concerned about taking Scotland forward as he tends to do for the teams he is with.
"Even if he is only there for a short period he is bringing them on."
Hibbard added: "I never had any doubt he was very good at the Ospreys. He did a fine job and I was personally gutted to see him go.
"It would be a massive victory for him to get one over on Wales."
Wales are looking to complete a hat-trick of consecutive wins at Murrayfield for the first time in 77 years.