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Lydiate's Lions dream
25 March 2013 12:58pm
By Westgate, Mike Brown
Lydiate's immediate focus is with the Dragons
Dan Lydiate admits it would be a dream to tour Australia with the Lions but he insists his focus is on regional duty.
Lydiate admits it has been a hugely frustrating six months on the sidelines but he was thrilled to come through his return unscathed.
He faces a race against time to rediscover the form that saw him named 2012 Six Nations Player of the Championship.
Warren Gatland names his touring party on April 30, and is a big fan of the destructive flanker, but Lydiate sole focus is on life with the Dragons.
"Going on the Lions tour would mean the same to me as it would mean to any other player - it is the dream," beamed Lydiate.
"But that is the last thing on my mind. If you focus too far ahead it is sod's law that something will happen and get injured or lose form
"My focus is on getting fit and trying to build on my performances to have a good run at the end of the season with the Dragons.
"I was so nervous ahead of the game, it was touch and go whether I would play, but I'm so happy to be back. It was a big confidence booster to be back on the pitch.
"I'm definitely not match fit but felt strong in the contact. It was just timing and match sharpness I lacked. I tried a few leg chops and slipped off but hopefully it will come."
Lydiate now has just three matches to remind Gatland of his abilities before the official squad announcement.
The first of those comes against the Scarlets in the Millennium Stadium 'Judgement Day' double-header on Saturday.
"It's about what I do on the pitch. Actions speak louder than words," added Lydiate.
"For any chance of me going I need to find my form pretty quickly
"Whatever jersey I put on, especially the Dragons and Wales, I always wear my heart on my sleeve and give 110 per cent.
There's massive pride and I will be going all out until the end of the season."
The back-row is arguable the most difficult area to select ahead of the tour Down Under and it is sure to give Gatland a selection headache or two.
But Dragons head coach Darren Edwards is confident Lydiate can get back to his barnstorming best to book his place on the plane.
"A month is enough time for a player of Dan's quality to prove himself worthy of a Lions spot," said Edwards.
"He has worked very hard and all he needs is to blow away the cobwebs.
"I am sure Warren knows what balance of team he wants and knows that Dan, with his hard hitting and physicality, would have stood out for Wales against England."
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