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Lydiate still happy on the dark side

Dan Lydiate's time as Wales' unsung hero may be at an end, but the flanker insists being named RBS 6 Nations player of the championship will not alter his appetite for rugby's dark arts.

The Newport Gwent Dragons' blindside has earned himself a reputation as one of the toughest tacklers in the business, going about his work in an unobtrusive manner while many focus on the prowess of back-row partners Sam Warburton and Toby Faletau.

But Lydiate, sporting stitches in a cut on his nose after catching a stray boot against the French on Saturday, has no intention of altering his approach to the game, and said: "There is a mix of players in rugby which is what makes it such a good sport. You have the old heads watching it in the pub who see the dark arts while the younger people, like the girls who watch, see the backs scoring the tries."

He added: "I'd rather have a few more girls saying what a good player I am but I want to say thanks to everyone who voted for me.

"I just do what I have to do to try and help the performance. Everyone has their job to do and I seem to find myself making tackles; you can't always be out there carrying the ball.

"The way I play number six is different to how Tom Croft and Stephen Ferris play. I am not saying it is the right way but it's the sort of player I am and it gives a good balance to the back row.

"Toby is a big carrier for us, Sam is a scavenger on the floor and I seem to do most of the tackling.

"I just like to get on with my job, I enjoy playing with Toby and Sam, we seem to complement each other well."

Given his selfless approach to the game it seems fitting that Lydiate's abiding memory of the championship has nothing to do with any of his personal triumphs. Instead, his fondest memory will be parading the Triple Crown following last month's dramatic 19-12 win over England at Twickenham.

He said: "Walking around Twickenham with the Triple Crown was awesome, it was the first silverware I had ever won and you always remember the first time you win something. The Slam was massive, but the first trophy you win is always special."


From Belfast Telegraph