Danny’s first Dragons appearance came as a replacement away at Cardiff Blues in May 2007. This was followed by another replacement appearance against Connacht and then his first start in the final game of the season against the Ospreys at Rodney Parade.
Lydiate’s emergence as a professional rugby player embodies what the Dragons are seeking to achieve in terms of player development and is one of several players who have made it through to professional rugby from the region.
The start of the 2007/2008 season saw Danny a more regular member of the matchday squad. He made 7 early season appearances including starting the Heineken Cup away match at Perpignan.
Dan’s rise to international success is even more impressive given that during a Heineken Cup match in Perpignan back in 2007 at the age of just 19, Dan suffered a serious neck injury which threatened to end his rugby career on the spot. Showing his trademark quiet determination, Dan returned to the side a year later, having undergone surgery on his upper spine and intensive rehabilitation to become a regular fixture in the Dragons team and was picked as part of Wales’ touring side for the USA in the summer.
Dan’s first match of the 2008/2009 season was in the loss away at Munster in September 2008. He went on to appear 21 times over the season and scored his first Dragons try in the away loss at Connacht in April 2009.
Danny made his debut for Wales in the 2009 Autumn Internationals when he came off the bench against Argentina at the Millennium Stadium. A week later he made his first start for his country in the defeat to Australia. Danny was retained for Gatland’s Six Nations squad for the 2010 but didn’t appear in the tournament.
Danny established himself as a first choice in the Dragons back row for the 2009/2010 season, starting 16 times with an additional replacement appearance. He maintained this place in the Dragons back row and cemented it with continually impressive performances for the region during the 2010/2011 season, again starting 14 of his 16 appearances. He would’ve appeared more times if it wasn’t for his involvement in the Wales squad for both the Autumn Internationals and the RBS 6 Nations.
2010/2011 was the season when Danny firmly established himself in the Wales side as well. Danny started in the Autumn matches against Australia, Fiji and New Zealand and also started in all five of Wales’ 6 Nations matches. He ended the season in fine form and was included, alongside regional teammate Toby Faletau for the first time, in the end of season capped international against the Barbarians.
Danny was selected in the initial 45 man squad that prepared for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He was one of very few players to play in all 3 World Cup warm-up matches, home and away against England and at home to Argentina, and was rewarded with a place in the final 30 man RWC 2011 squad that travelled to New Zealand.
He missed the start of the Dragons 2011/2012 season because of his involvement in the tournament but fast became part of an internationally acclaimed back row for Wales alongside Toby Faletau and Sam Warburton. Danny started the opening 2 games against South Africa and Samoa but injured his ankle in the Samoa game and was forced to miss the pool matches with Namibia and Fiji. Danny ultimately won his fitness race and was fit to start in the quarter final win against Ireland, the semi final against France and shifted to openside to cover the suspended Warburton in the Bronze medal match.
Danny slotted straight back into the Dragons line-up on his return and had racked up 8 starts before injuring his ankle again in the final Amlin Challenge Cup match against Prato at Rodney Parade. That left him with another fitness race to make the start of Wales’ 6 Nations campaign. Ultimately he was deemed unfit for selection in the opening win against Ireland in Dublin but returned with a man of the match performance in the second round match against Scotland at the Millennium Stadium.
Season P W D L T C P Dg Pts
2006/2007 3 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
Matches Played In 2006/2007
2007/2008 7 2 1 4 0 0 0 0 0
Matches Played In 2007/2008
2008/2009 21 7 0 14 1 0 0 0 5
Matches Played In 2008/2009
2009/2010 17 9 1 7 0 0 0 0 0
Matches Played In 2009/2010
|13/12/2009||Biarritz Olympique PB||FL||0||0||0||0||0|
2010/2011 16 4 0 12 0 0 0 0 0
Matches Played In 2010/2011
|01/10/2010||Benetton Rugby Treviso||FL||0||0||0||0||0|
|03/04/2011||Benetton Rugby Treviso||FL||0||0||0||0||0|
2011/2012 12 3 0 9 1 0 0 0 5
Matches Played In 2011/2012
|12/11/2011||RC I Cavalieri Prato||FL||0||0||0||0||0|
|21/01/2012||RC I Cavalieri Prato||FL||0||0||0||0||0|
|13/04/2012||Benetton Rugby Treviso||FL||0||0||0||0||0|
2012/2013 9 3 0 6 1 0 0 0 5
Matches Played In 2012/2013
Total 85 29 2 54 3 0 0 0 15
- v Australia 1/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- Lydiate on the charge v Leinster 2/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- Danny Lydiate crashes over for a try 3/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau tackle Shane Williams 4/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- Danny Lydiate on the charge v Ospreys 5/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- Open Training Session April 2012 6/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- Danny Lydiate is tackled 7/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- Danny Lydiate tries to break a Connacht tackle 8/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- RRW Photoshoot 9/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- RRW Photoshoot 10/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- Dragons 2012 Grand Slam stars with the trophy 11/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- Dragons 2012 Grand Slam stars with the trophy 12/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- Danny Lydiate with Player of the Tournament trophy 13/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- Danny Lydiate with Player of the Tournament trophy 14/20 ©WALES NEWS PICTURES
- Danny and Toby show off the Triple Crown 15/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- Toby and Dan celebrate winning Triple Crown 16/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- Danny Lydiate goes off injured 17/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- Danny Lydiate takes on the defence 18/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- Danny Lydiate drives forward 19/20 ©Huw Evans Images
- Danny Lydiate wins a lineout 20/20 ©Huw Evans Images