Wales may risk 'integral' Lydiate against Springboks
3 June 2014 11:29am
Lydiate started all five of this year's RBS 6 Nations matches
Dan Lydiate is struggling to recover in time for Wales' first Test in South Africa but defence coach Shaun Edwards admitted they may risk the flanker anyway.
After helping the British & Irish Lions to a series victory in Australia last summer, Lydiate started all five of Wales' RBS 6 Nations clashes earlier this year.
Warren Gatland's side were unable to secure an unprecedented three titles on the bounce as Ireland topped the table - with Wales back in third.
Lydiate has been suffering with a hamstring complaint of late but Edwards believes the 26-year-old would play a vital part in any Welsh success against the Springboks this summer.
And with the first Test as early as June 14 he is determined to see the 26-year-old win his 39th cap, whether he has featured in warm-up matches or not.
"I think Dan Lydiate probably needs a bit of a run-out before then [the first Test]," said Edwards. "So whether he's involved in the first game I'm not sure, but we'll decide that later.
"To give him confidence I think it would help him to have a little bit of game time. But Dan Lydiate is the kind of player who's an integral part of our team, maybe we'd even take a chance with him without playing in that game."
After Ireland's heroic big-game hunt of the Springboks and Scotland's six-try runaround of the Pumas, the challenge of engineering the most spectacular win of the autumn series now falls on Wales, writes Peter Jackson.