Lydiate v Leinster

Q&A with Dan Lydiate

In case you missed it in the programme over the weekend, here's the Q&A with Dan Lydiate.

You have been at the Ospreys for a few seasons now, can you give us an insight into the changes you have seen this season, with the arrival of new Head Coach, Toby Booth, and Attack coach, Brock James?

“There have been massive changes over the summer with new coaching staff and it does feel like a fresh start being at our new training base down at St Helen’s.

The boys trained hard over the summer and it just feels like a fresh start and that does mean an opportunity for young players and chance to stake a claim.

We have good blend of experience and youngsters in the side but we all have to front up on the pitch which is where we will get found out if we are lacking any aspects of our game.”

Your reputation for giving all for the cause and the jersey, whether it’s the Ospreys, Wales or the Lions, is written in rugby folklore. Do you still have ambitions to play for Wales?

“If they want me, they know where to find me. I missed the first couple of games with the kind of end of season and derby clashes. So I was on the back foot for selection then, but the amount of depth there is in the backrow in Wales is really good to see but it’s challenging, not just at the Ospreys, but at the other regions. It’s good for Welsh rugby, and if I am good enough, they will pick me.  If it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be. But like I have said before, it won’t be through lack of trying.”

You have a reputation for giving everything and emptying the tank every time you take the field, how do you keep doing that and how do you feel the day after a game?

How do all professional rugby players feel when they get up in the morning? (Laughs) No, I am good and I have had a good pre-season and came off the bench in the two opening games and tried to write myself off, but it meant I was looking forward to starting against Glasgow and chucking it about a bit. We have some tough fixtures, with 12 or 13 games on the bounce. With the internationals away, the squad is a lot smaller, so boys will be doubling and tripling up and playing every game. We have to make sure we look after ourselves.

This has been one of the strangest years for all of us, with the Covid-19 pandemic, Lockdowns and no crowds at the Liberty Stadium, how difficult have you found it?

“It is very difficult for everyone at the moment. The economy and businesses are struggling, then people talk about mental health these days with lockdown. Players are very lucky in our situation that we can still come into work with the protocols we go through every week. With the monitoring every day and the Covid-19 testing, everything is done very thoroughly but we are in a Pandemic.  Everyone just has to take the extra care, to break the cycle and get rid of the virus, once and for all, and come out the other side healthy and well.  It’s tough for everyone in Wales and the rest of the country.  We are just trying to do our bit and we are lucky enough to come into work, with the social distancing, and it’s nice we can carry on, but it is different with no crowds and with the travel arrangements. Like everybody, we are trying to make the best of a bad situation and, hopefully, things will get better and will be nice to get back to normal with crowds and full crowds at some point.”