Dan Lydiate signs national dual contract, joins Ospreys
Wales flanker joins back row colleague Sam Warburton in signing one of the new deals aimed at keeping Welsh talent in Wales
Dan Lydiate has become the second Wales international to sign a national dual contract with the Welsh Rugby Union.
I enjoyed my time with Racing Metro, but this is the right move for me as I want to achieve my full potential as a player based here in Wales.
The 26-year-old former Newport Gwent Dragons forward, who was released from his contract with Top 14 giants Racing Metro in October, has also joined the Ospreys as expected.
Under the terms of the Rugby Services Agreement between the WRU and Pro Rugby Wales, a player signing a dual contract is expected to stay at or return to their region they represent, but Lydiate has switched to the Ospreys for personal reasons after declining an offer to return to the Dragons.
“I am delighted to have secured a national dual contract and I am looking forward to doing my best for the Ospreys while I aim to win selection for Wales,” Lydiate said.
“Having a national dual contract gives me the certainty I need for my future and I will now be able to concentrate 100 per cent on my rugby.
“I enjoyed my time with Racing Metro, but this is the right move for me as I want to achieve my full potential as a player based here in Wales.”
The Rugby Services Agreement sees £8.7 million a year allocated from the WRU for the regions to spend on Wales qualified players with £2m of that investment for dual contracts, with a commitment of £1.3m from the regions to bring the pot up to £3.3m.
Lydiate, who has been an integral part of the Wales back row under head coach Warren Gatland and played in all three British and Irish Lions matches against Australia in 2013, will begin training with the Ospreys this week and will be available for selection for their next Guinness PRO12 clash against Ulster on 20 December.
“We are delighted to have Dan joining us,” said Ospreys CEO Andrew Hore.
“Our supporters know that we have worked tirelessly to get ourselves into a strong position to be able to attract players of Dan’s calibre to the region, and we would like to thank them for helping to make this happen.
“As far as we understand, Dan chose the Ospreys based on the investment we have put into creating a world-class environment.
“We base our recruitment on selecting people with the right character. Dan matches those requirements and we look forward to working with him.”
The WRU will be eagerly awaiting responses to the contracts sent out to almost a dozen Welsh players, including Lydiate, identified by Gatland for dual contracts.
Among those believed to be targeted for the historic dual deals are Ospreys half-back duo Dan Biggar and Rhys Webb and Scarlets forwards Samson Lee and Jake Ball, who were are all seen as integral to the future of the Wales team and featured in last month’s Dove Men Series.
”This is an important step forward for Welsh rugby and will reap rewards in playing standards over the long term,” Gatland added.
“Any player on a national dual contract will remain in Wales with a region where their development and welfare can be monitored by me and my national squad coaches and conditioners.
“I want to personally thank the staff from each of the four regions for their help in getting the national dual contracts up and running.
“We can now focus on ensuring all our best young players realise the best way for them to realise their talent in full is to stay in Wales under the new structure we have created.”