No Lydiate but Dragons' Wales pair return for Ospreys clash
LIONS hopeful Dan Lydiate will not make his Newport Gwent Dragons comeback until the clash with the Scarlets but Wales stars Toby Faletau and Andrew Coombs will return to the fray against the Ospreys on Friday.
Blindside flanker Lydiate will not feature at the Liberty Stadium after a hamstring niggle held back his return from the broken ankle he suffered in September.
He will want to finish the season strongly to show that he is ready for the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia, is likely to feature in the Millennium Stadium clash with the Scarlets a week on Saturday.
“Dan is desperate to play and has been doing modified training with us, but we have got to be cautious,” said head coach Darren Edwards. “I am almost certain he’ll be back for the Scarlets, because he was pretty close to making this weekend but can only play when 100 per cent fit.”
Number eight Faletau and lock Coombs will be involved on Friday, six days after helping Wales retain their Six Nations title. Edwards offered them time to rest their weary bodies, yet both declined.
He said: “I gave them Monday morning off and Toby walked through the door at 8am saying he’d come to see the boys! I asked if he wanted to play against the Ospreys and he said ‘yes please’.
“Toby and Coombsy had the option of a rest but didn’t want to take it. That’s testament to their attitude and why they have made such an impact with Wales. They are good players and good guys.
“The same goes for our Wales Under-20s boys (full-back Hallam Amos, centre Jack Dixon and number eight Ieuan Jones), I was worried that they might turn up a bit jaded but everybody has come back in great shape and there is real energy in the squad.”
Wing/centre Ross Wardle, 21, who has penned a professional contract with the region, is likely to be in the matchday squad. It would be a Pro12 debut for the student who is in his final year of a pharmacy degree at Cardiff University.
Dragons squad: H Amos, D Evans, R Wardle, T Prydie, W Harries, A Hughes, J Dixon, P Leach, L Robling, S Jones, W Evans, J Evans, P Price, O Evans, N Williams, S Parry, H Gustafson, D Way, N Buck, I Nimmo, A Jones, A Coombs, T Faletau, N Cudd, L Evans, I Jones, J Groves.