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Lydiate aiming to bring back Dragons’ fire

Guinness PRO12 Editor

15 Dec 2011

After exploding onto the international scene with Wales this year you could forgive Newport Gwent Dragons flanker Dan Lydiate for wanting to stop to catch his breath now he is back in the RaboDirect PRO12.



But the 24-year-old Lydiate is not that kind of player, he’s more of the roll-up-your-sleeves and get stuck straight back in kind of player.

And with the Dragons struggling down in ninth as we approach the halfway point in this year’s RaboDirect PRO12, Lydiate has a job on his hands to right some wrongs at Rodney Parade.

But the flanker is adamant that all is not lost for the Dragons, who despite their lowly league position remain unbeaten at home.

“As a club we are not where we want to be at the moment, especially in the RaboDirect PRO12 where our league position is pretty poor,” he said.

“We are struggling away from home, it’s not really something I can put my finger on as to why as I’ve not been at the club but you can bet that we are doing everything we can to put it right.

“The Dragons have always been strong at home, Rodney Parade is a real fortress for us but away we are not up to scratch and if we want to progress that has to change.

“First and foremost we need to start putting wins together and push up the table and with our Amlin Pool as tight as it is we need to be on our game on that front as well.

“Confidence is a huge factor for us and if we can find it then it shouldn’t be long before we are back challenging higher up the table.

“We have spoken about putting a run together while we have all of our big players back with us and this time before Christmas is as good a chance as any.”

Lydiate started every game for Wales in this year’s RBS 6 Nations Championship before shining in Wales’ memorable trip to the third-place play-off in the World Cup.

But despite a stellar year that saw him, clubmate Toby Faletau and Sam Warburton form what could be considered the best back row in international rugby for years to come Lydiate insists he isn’t taking anything for granted at the moment.

“Every game I play in, it is with the aim of winning, no-one can take their place for granted, not when we’ve got as competitive a back row as Wales do,” he added.

“Club rugby comes first for me and I will keep working as hard as I can to improve my game because otherwise you can so easily start to slide backwards.

“I need to be on the up at all times, you can’t let your guard down or you won’t be worth your place in the national team, club rugby is where you prove your worth and what gets you selected for your country.”