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02nd Sep 2016

Anyone that doubts rugby players’ bloody-mindedness should know about Dan Lydiate’s most recent injury

Team first, body second

Patrick McCarry

“To be honest with you, I was carrying a few bumps and bruises all… sort of… season.” – Dan Lydiate

Lydiate is a tough bastard.

Any man that throws himself at the surging feet of opposition flankers and barrelling props surely is. Any man that regular lands over 20 tackles per game and puts his hand up to stop the biggest threats definitely is. He is bred for battle.

Lydiate will be hoping to make his second successive Lions tour, next summer, and the odds are looking good. They will look even better, next Wednesday, when the curtain drops and Warren Gatland is revealed as Lions head coach.

Getting through the next nine months injury-free would be a miracle, though, especially for someone as combative and feckless as the Welsh blindside. He just hopes the injury that gets him isn’t a biggie.

Dan Lydiate 26/3/2016

Speaking with us at the Guinness PRO12 season launch, Lydiate detailed a double injury – against England – that cost him a trip to New Zealand, back in June. The casual manner in which he described his misfortunes would be startling to anyone not used to the rigours of modern rugby. Lydiate said:

“My shoulder was an ongoing issue [all season] and once I hit a contact my shoulder just popped. I just carried on, because of adrenaline and stuff.

“Then I slipped in another tackle and pulled my hamstring so I just, I (laughs) couldn’t walk so I couldn’t carry on. I tried! They had to get the shepherd’s crook on and get me off but it wasn’t my the lack of my trying to play on.”

Lydiate popped [dislocated] his shoulder on 16 minutes yet somehow managed to play on for seven more minutes before his hamstring gave out.

Were Lydiate to make it on his second Lions tour he will have taken part in his second 11-month season in a row. Being a tough bastard now seems the minimum requirement.

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