No regrets for Lydiate

Published: Wednesday 25th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Wales flanker Dan Lydiate will return to Paris this week insisting he has no regrets about his flirtation with French club rugby.

Lydiate’s playing stint at Racing Metro ended with him being released by mutual consent earlier this season midway through a three-year deal.

He then joined the Swansea-based Ospreys on a dual contract funded by his new regional team and the Welsh Rugby Union.

“I don’t regret it,” said Lydiate, who will line up for Wales against RBS 6 Nations opponents France on Saturday.

“I wanted to stay out there because I signed for three years and I wanted to fulfil my contract, but things change.

“I want to play rugby, and I wasn’t playing rugby, so you have to make a decision.

“I am happy now because I am back home and I’m playing rugby, so that is the main thing.

“The whole experience of living in France and the people we met was brilliant, but the rugby side of it didn’t go to plan.

“Obviously I would have liked to have played more, but that’s life. It doesn’t always work out how you want it to. I am glad I have ticked that box, just to say I’ve been out there and given it a go, but it just wasn’t meant to be.”

Lydiate will win his 44th cap, packing down alongside regular back-row partners Sam Warburton and Taulupe Faletau, when Wales look to keep themselves in Six Nations title contention by claiming a fourth successive victory over France.

The stakes are high for both sides, with Saturday’s losers knowing they will be out of silverware contention two games inside the distance.

“It’s a massive game for both teams,” Lydiate added. “We have a bit of momentum after Scotland and we want to keep that going, but it will be a massive challenge.

“They (France) will be foaming at the mouth for this game with a point to prove after losing to Ireland, so it’s going to be a big battle.

“France can be the best team in the world on their day. We know how dangerous and elusive they can be, and you just have to hope they are not performing.

“We have to do everything within our powers to stop their free-flowing rugby and get stuck into them as best we can. We have to stick to our game-plan.

“You always want to make a statement – you want to give a good representation of yourself – so this game will be no different.

“It may be slightly different this time because I’m playing against boys that I used to play alongside. That’s quite cool as well, but you want to prove yourself in every game.”

Lydiate, meanwhile, has paid tribute to Warburton and Wales wing George North, who will both record notable feats at Stade de France.

Warburton equals Ryan Jones’ record of 33 Tests as Wales captain, while North, aged 22, becomes the youngest player in international rugby history to make 50 Test appearances (47 for Wales and three as a British and Irish Lion).

“It’s a massive achievement for Sam, and I think it’s testament to how he has led the side over the last few years,” Lydiate said.

“George is a huge threat with his ball-carrying, and 50 caps is a massive achievement for anyone, but for someone his age it’s an awesome feat.”

Published: Wednesday 25th February 2015 by The News Editor

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