Dan Lydiate confirms he will return to Wales after Racing Metro departure
Flanker set to stay in Wales at conclusion of Dove Men Series next month
Dan Lydiate’s has confirmed he will return to Wales in December after Racing Metro agreed to release the Wales flanker from his contract.
The 26-year-old former Newport Gwent Dragons back-rower moved to Paris in 2013, and was subsequently joined at the club by international colleagues Luke Charteris, Jamie Roberts and Mike Phillips, but has enjoyed limited game time .
Lydiate’s first season in France brought just 11 Top 14 appearances, four as a starter, and this season he has made just four league appearances in the Top 14, with two starts, and no European Champions Cup action as the club considered letting him leave early.
“I would like to thank Racing Metro 92 for their welcome, and the 17 months I spent at the club,” Lydiate said. “I would also like to thank the club officials for their understanding, and especially the way they agreed to release me from my contract.”
He is expected to become the first Wales international since captain Sam Warburton to take up a dual contract with the Welsh Rugby Union and one of the four Welsh regions.
Under the new Rugby Services Agreement between the Welsh Rugby Union and Pro Rugby Wales (formerly Regional Rugby Wales), a player returning on a dual contract should be offered to their former region, but the Ospreys are favourite to land his services to bolster their depleted back row.
“We wish Dan an excellent end to the season with his new club, and all the best for his international future with Wales, whether for the November tests, the Six Nations, or the 2015 Rugby World Cup,” Racing Metro chairman Jacky Lorenzetti said in a statement on the Top 14 club’s website.
Lydiate’s departure from Racing should also make him available to play in Wales’ final Dove Men Series Test against South Africa on 29 November, which will be a boost for head coach Warren Gatland as the England- and France-based players return to their clubs.