Lydiate revels in back-row riches

03rd Feb 2014, 12:37

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Excited: Dan Lydiate

Excited: Dan Lydiate

Wales flanker Dan Lydiate is delighted that head coach Warren Gatland can point to such quality and depth across his back-row.

Wales flanker Dan Lydiate is delighted that head coach Warren Gatland can point to such quality and depth across his back-row.

Lydiate impressed in defence in during Wales' 23-15 Round One victory over Italy on Saturday, representing his country after the birth of his daughter last week. The Racing man knows that in Taulupe Faletau, Justin Tipuric, and returning skipper Sam Warburton, the champions have a range of fine loose forwards.

"We try to play with quick ball and fair play to Italy, they slowed it down with a couple of intercepts and the problem we had in the ruck area to get turned over, there is something we definitely need to address going into next week's game," Lydiate told the Independent.

"It was good to see Sam back; he was certainly chucking himself about - he had a bloody nose at the end of the game - and that 20 minutes or so will have done him a world of good. We've got two really good number sevens there.

"Tips has been on fire this season, and I like playing with both of them. But then obviously they can play six and seven together, as they did last year [in the Six Nations victory over England] and did so well at. The coaches are spoilt for choice at the minute."

Though they eventually took the title in emphatic fashion in 2013, Wales' Six Nations got off to a disastrous start a year ago as Ireland blew Gatland's men away in Cardiff.

Lydiate knows the significance of Saturday's return fixture in the Irish capital.

"We lost to Ireland in Cardiff last year and we'll take a close look at how we can unlock them over there," added Lydiate.

"Hopefully we'll be a lot better for this hit-out. Ireland have good depth in their squad too so it's going to be a good tussle."