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Confirmed: Wales back-rower Dan Lydiate names his new club

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Ian Cook/CameraSport via Getty Images)

Wales forward Dan Lydiate has named his new club, confirming he has joined the Dragons 17 days after playing for the Ospreys for the final time. The 35-year-old ended his nine-year stint at the west Wales region when he featured against Cardiff at Principality Stadium on April 22 in the URC.


The following day he posted his appreciation for the Ospreys on social media, writing: “My time as an Osprey has come to an end. People and friendships make a place and the reason I do it all for is my crew [family]. Thanks to everyone who has been part of my journey as an Osprey. Still life in the old bull. Great to receive my jersey from Sam Parry.”

Lydiate has since been named in the 54-strong preliminary Wales squad for the upcoming Rugby World Cup, the 68-cap back-rower included as one of 31 forwards by Warren Gatland. That was May 1 and now, eight days later, he has revealed where he will play his club rugby in 2023/24.

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A statement read: “Dragons RFC are delighted to officially announce the major signing of Wales and British and Irish Lions back row star Dan Lydiate. Vastly experienced forward Lydiate will return to his first professional club and Rodney Parade this summer.

“Lydiate played 85 times for the Men of Gwent between 2006 and 2013, captaining the club on a number of occasions. The hugely talented and driven 35-year-old, who stands 6ft 4in tall and weighs 18st 1lbs, featured in the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups.

“Among his many accolades, the flanker was named Six Nations player of the championship in 2012 and the Welsh rugby writers’ player of the year that same season. Lydiate, who has also had playing spells at Racing 92 and Ospreys, was part of the British and Irish Lions squad that toured Australia in 2013, featuring in all three Tests as the Lions claimed a 2-1 series victory. He also captained the Lions on that tour.”

Dragons head coach Dai Flanagan said: “We’re delighted that Dan is coming home to a club where it all started and to a place that still means a huge amount to him. Dan has enjoyed a fantastic career, playing at the very highest level, and he comes back at Dragons having recently produced some of his finest rugby – a fact underlined by his recent call-up by Wales.


“Dan remains hugely ambitious and still wants to achieve in rugby and be a huge asset to us. He is undoubtedly a leader, someone who sets the best standards, and his vast experience and approach to the game can only be of huge benefit to our young squad. We are excited that Dan is a Dragon again and from speaking to him I know just how much he is looking forward to pulling that jersey back on and representing the Men of Gwent.”

Lydiate added: “It’s great to be back. I have a lot of fond memories of my time here and I’m determined to now add to that on my return. I have had a lot of good conversations with Dai about what he wants to build here and he is one of the reasons I wanted to come back and sign.

“There is a good crop of young talent here and now I’m back on board I will hopefully add some experience, play my part and help them on their journey too. I’m looking to getting stuck in. There is no better crowd than Rodney Parade when it is packed out and I can’t wait to play for them again and move this club forward.”


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