Lydiate in Racing Metro's sights
October 11, 2012
Wales flanker Dany Lydiate is currently recovering from a broken ankle suffered earlier this season © PA Photos
The Dragons are determined to retain the services of Wales international Dan Lydiate after it emerged the highly-rated flanker is a target for French side Racing Metro.
Reports suggest that the 24-year-old Lydiate, currently recovering from a broken ankle suffered last month, is being chased by the deep-pocketed Top 14 giants along with his international team-mate Jamie Roberts with both players out of contract at the end of this season.
The Blues have requested financial help from the Welsh Rugby Union to tempt Roberts to stay and the Dragons are also prepared to fight to secure the services of Lydiate who was voted the 2012 Six Nations Player of the Championship.
"I'm always hopeful we can keep a player, I have already spoken to Dan about his future and am waiting for him to come back to me," the Dragons' director of rugby Rob Beale told the Western Mail. "As a business we would really like to know where his future lies because he is a key asset and, along with Toby Faletau, he is a face of the region.
"I think Dan is different from a lot of other players in that he is very much a home-bird. I'm not sure if he's driven by finance. His life revolves around rugby here, his family and the family farm."
Lydiate's former Dragons team-mate Luke Charteris quit the region last season in favour of a move to Top 14 side Perpignan but Beale is quick to point to the fact that the players are at different stages of their careers.
"Dan is at a different stage of his career to someone like Luke because he's much younger," said Beale. "But, I suppose, if someone is dangling loads of money in front of you, it's hard to resist. We will do all we can, within our means, to keep Dan here, but there's only so much we can do," he warned.
"I believe Dan is happy here. He has done everything from here. He's been capped by Wales, played in a World Cup semi-final, won a Grand Slam, been honoured as Six Nations Player of the Tournament this year and was a certainty for next year's Lions tour of Australia until being injured.
"We are prepared to offer him a contract extension now despite the severity of his injury. We have given him adequate rest periods and looked after him when he was recovering from a broken neck a few years ago. Would he receive the same support and understanding in France, or would they want him to play in every match?"
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September