11:35am Monday 14th October 2013
By Iwan Gabe Davies
FORMER Newport Gwent Dragons back rower Dan Lydiate looks set to make his Heineken Cup debut for his new side Racing Métro this weekend when they travel to Llanelli to face a buoyant Scarlets.
The Wales and Lions star was a surprise omission from the Parisian club’s squad for their surprise home 13-9 defeat of 2013's beaten finalists late last night, a Clermont Auvergne team which included his compatriot, the full back Lee Byrne.
Big spenders Racing were also without fellow Welshman Jamie Roberts, the centre recovering from an ankle operation which could keep him out of all of Wales’ four autumn internationals next month.
Johnny Sexton kicked two penalties for the hosts and converted France wing Marc Andreu’s sucker punch of a try against the run of play early in the second half.
Scrum half Morgan Parra kicked three penalties for the visitors who dominated the match but couldn’t press home their advantage.
2008 Grand Slam winner and 2009 Lion Byrne looked sharp but the man of the match was his teammate, All Blacks wing Sitiveni Sivivatu who caused havoc in the Paris club’s defence.
Racing head to West Wales to play a Scarlets side on Saturday who caused an upset themselves by winning a classic encounter 33-26 away at Harlequins on the weekend.
Lydiate, 25, missed Racing’s last Top 14 clash, a surprise 22-20 home defeat to Grenoble and the 19-15 loss to champions Castres the week before.
The former Ebbw Vale and Pontypool man’s last appearance for Racing was when he started the 26-19 win over Bordeaux Bègles at home on Saturday, September 21.
Ex-Dragons second row Luke Charteris came on as a 62nd minute replacement for Perpignan, the Catalan side who secured a bonus point as they went down 27-22 to Gloucester at Kingsholm in their Heineken Cup encounter.
Great news for Wales fans is the superb form of the French side’s James Hook who is playing at full back this season after being more used to slotting in at his favourite position of outside half in the past.
The former Ospreys man scored all of his team’s points thanks to a try, conversion, four penalties and a drop goal.
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