Dan Lydiate set to return for Italy clash

Campaign Series: Wales and Dragons star Dan Lydiate Wales and Dragons star Dan Lydiate

LAST season’s Six Nations player of the tournament Dan Lydiate is well on course to play a part in this season’s campaign.

The Newport Gwent Dragons and Wales star has been out of action since breaking a bone above his left ankle four months ago.

And, although he wasn’t named in Rob Howley’s 35-man Six Nations squad yesterday, the Wales caretaker coach confirmed that he is likely to be called up.

Howley revealed that the blindside flanker’s rehabilitation is going well, but Lydiate, who is set to join Parisian aristocrats Racing Métro next season, will not feature in the opening two games against Ireland and France.

“Dan will hopefully play some part in the Six Nations – he’s ahead of schedule,” Howley said.

“We were mindful that those selected could play a part in our preparation for Ireland and France.

“The players not announced, the likes of Alun Wyn Jones, Dan, Ashley Beck, will be available after the French game.”

The news that Lydiate, whose injury came in the opening minutes of the Dragons’ 32-12 home victory over Edinburgh in late September, could be back for Wales’ clash in Rome against Italy on Saturday, February 23, is a big boost.

It gives him a great chance of staking his claim for a Lions place on their summer tour of Australia.

Wales badly missed the back rower and his trademark big hit tackles during their autumn series whitewash.

There are five uncapped players in Howley’s squad – Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, Ospreys second row James King and wing Eli Walker, as well as Cardiff Blues back row pair Andries Pretorius and Josh Navidi.

Howley believes 20-year-old Walker, so impressive this season for the PRO12 champions, has what it takes to force himself into the Wales side ahead of last year’s Grand Slam-winning flyers George North and Alex Cuthbert.

“Eli absolutely poses a challenge to George and Alex – we have competition for places and that’s why he’s there,” he said.

“He was in our discussions during the autumn but we felt it better to stick with Harry Robinson on grounds of continuity. But Eli has proved us wrong – his performances over the Christmas period were very consistent, particularly in the Heineken Cup against Toulouse and Leicester. His work-rate and ability to work off his wing are what you want.”

Comments (4)

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10:52am Wed 16 Jan 13

Mervyn James says...

We seem to be on course for yet another humiliating hammering, no wonder outside Wales they are puzzled we even compete and staggered we can win grand slams, even occasionally.
We seem to be on course for yet another humiliating hammering, no wonder outside Wales they are puzzled we even compete and staggered we can win grand slams, even occasionally. Mervyn James
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Wed 16 Jan 13

kalwales@hotmail.com says...

Robert i know your a Dragons Fan & that means you know everything and never get anything wrong nor do you make mistaks but remember this "everyone makes mistakes, even the Pro's" !!!
Robert i know your a Dragons Fan & that means you know everything and never get anything wrong nor do you make mistaks but remember this "everyone makes mistakes, even the Pro's" !!! kalwales@hotmail.com
  • Score: 0

6:00pm Wed 16 Jan 13

Keith Barnett says...

Mistaks?
Mistaks? Keith Barnett
  • Score: 0

11:17pm Wed 16 Jan 13

Robert Shillabeer says...

kalwales@hotmail.com wrote:
Robert i know your a Dragons Fan & that means you know everything and never get anything wrong nor do you make mistaks but remember this "everyone makes mistakes, even the Pro's" !!!
I could complain about ths attack on me, but decided to put it down to your ignorance especially as I ave made no comment on this particular report. The report is simply paper filler of no importance or new information so why say anything directed as an insult toward me. For goodness sake get a grip and stop being so provocative for no reason you small minded idiot.
[quote][p][bold]kalwales@hotmail.com[/bold] wrote: Robert i know your a Dragons Fan & that means you know everything and never get anything wrong nor do you make mistaks but remember this "everyone makes mistakes, even the Pro's" !!![/p][/quote]I could complain about ths attack on me, but decided to put it down to your ignorance especially as I ave made no comment on this particular report. The report is simply paper filler of no importance or new information so why say anything directed as an insult toward me. For goodness sake get a grip and stop being so provocative for no reason you small minded idiot. Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 0

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