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Welsh Rugby
Wales hit back over Lydiate injury
ESPNscrum Staff
January 7, 2011
Wales flanker Dan Lydiate is tackled, Wales v New Zealand, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, November 27, 2010
Wales flanker Dan Lydiate missed the Dragons' Magners League match with Connacht © Getty Images
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Wales have hit back at claims that Newport Gwent Dragons duo Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau were injured while attending a national squad training day earlier this week.

Dragons head coach Paul Turner suggested that flanker Lydiate had picked up neck damage prior to the Dragons' Magners League clash with Connacht during testing at the national team's Vale of Glamorgan headquarters on Monday. Turner accused the Welsh set-up of jeopardising the players' fitness and described their actions as "disgraceful".

Lydiate missed the win over Connacht, although Faletau was fit to take part, and Turner insisted that he had requested his players not be involved in the national team meet-up with the Dragons facing action three days later. He claimed that Lydiate, who was carrying knocks, took a full part in strength testing, resulting in an injury.

However on Friday the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) responded to what it called "unfair and damaging accusations" and insisted that Lydiate did not take part in any training or testing with the national squad.

A statement from the WRU read: "All the players who attended the screening day were checked by the squad's professional staff and a significant number were deemed to be suffering from injuries which meant they were unable to take part in any elements of the session.

"Dan Lydiate was medically screened and immediately declared unfit. He did not take any further part in the testing. Toby Faletau completed one test of the five arranged for the day. It involved an aerobic check which required him to run for 125 seconds over a circuit of 450 metres.

"It is the view of the Wales national squad professional staff that an elite athlete should not be impaired, nor should his preparation be affected, by running for 125 seconds several days before any scheduled game."

The WRU defended its right to hold the screening day and said that it had been agreed with the four regions. They insisted that the day did not involve physical contact and was to review the strength and conditioning levels before the Six Nations, which begins on February 4 with Wales' first game against England.

The statement continued: "Screening days are common practice for all international squads and involve players who are under consideration for selection. Screening days have been held by the Wales senior squad before previous tournaments without any debate terming them "controversial."

The WRU has written to the Dragons and promised to raise the issue of "inaccurate" comments with the management board and the four regional organisations.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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