The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
A fourth-place finish in the World Cup this autumn matched his country’s best ever performance all the way back in 1987 but that didn’t come close to satisfying his hunger.
And with the 2012 RBS 6 Nations representing his next opportunity to finally break open the bubbly, the 24-year-old cannot wait to set the record straight.
“What happened in the World Cup still hurts a lot, it was a very disappointing because all though we came back with our heads held high we know we could have done more,” he said.
“That really was a missed opportunity, we are well aware of that because World Cups don’t come round many times in a career and we blew it.
“Of course the results are very pleasing and in terms of the future it’s brilliant that we have such a young and confident squad.
“But we haven’t achieved anything yet and the people who are pouring so much praise on us need to stop so the team can keep their feet on the ground.
“As a team we beat Ireland which was a great result but we haven’t accomplished anything more than that really, we’ve got it all still to prove.
“As long as that is the mentality that you take in every time you pull on the Wales jersey then you can’t really go too far wrong.
“We as a squad are so hungry for success and that means we won’t be resting on our laurels, we want big results and our first big chance is the Six Nations, we weren’t up to it this autumn but all of us are bursting to put that right.”
And with England, France and the ever-improving Italians all in a period of transition with new head coaches at the helm the tournament couldn’t be much more open.
A fact that is not lost on Lydiate who insists his side need to start proving themselves now if they want to be considered genuine contenders.
“This year’s competition is a really hard one to call, it’s really open and that makes it a great chance for us or anyone to go out there and take advantage,” he added.
“Every year there are some shock results during the tournament and it is up to us to make sure we are not one of the teams that slip up.
“This is our first opportunity to start healing the pain from New Zealand and we will all be desperate to get out on the pitch by the time it comes around.
“When the first game starts it will be a chance for us to let go off everything that happened down under and start all over again, provided we learn from the mistakes we made.
“Of course it’s fantastic that we are so young as a squad, at times it almost feels like an Under20s set-up but we have experienced the pain and now it’s time to start proving ourselves.”