Dragons flanker Lydiate backed to stay at Rodney Parade

Dragons head coach Dai Flanagan says this weekend will not be Dan Lydiate's final game as he aims to keep the flanker at the region.

Lydiate, 36, has been named among the replacements for the last game of the United Rugby Championship (URC) season, Saturday's Judgement Day game against Scarlets at Cardiff City Stadium.

The flanker re-joined Dragons for the 2023-24 season after signing a one-year deal and has made nine appearances.

“This won’t be his last game, I can guarantee you that,” said Flanagan.

“He is a player I don’t want to leave this region for multiple reasons – playing, experience, what he can bring off the field going forward.

“It won’t be his last game of rugby, otherwise there would have been more made of that this week.”

Lydiate won 69 caps for Wales and played for the British and Irish Lions in the series win over Australia in 2013.

He started his professional career with Dragons before stints with Racing Metro and Ospreys.

“He has been brilliant for us because of the intelligence he has got, with where he has been and what he has done," said Flanagan.

“For someone like Ryan Woodman to sit with him every day for the last eight months, you will see a different Ryan Woodman who can go to big places. Having Dan next to him has been invaluable.”

Flanagan and Lydiate are discussing a new contract, with the possibility of the player also taking on a coaching role.

“Coaching is something that Dan is curious to see what it would be like. I’ve told him how good a coach he would be," said Flanagan.

“We didn’t have a defence coach all year after Simon Cross left and if we went to market then what Welsh defence coaches are out there?

“We have to start producing them in Wales and arguably there is no better defender in Welsh rugby than Dan over the last 10 years. I would pursue that if I was him.”