Wales recall Lydiate for Six Nations

Back-row Dan Lydiate has impressed for Ospreys this season

Wales have recalled Ospreys back-row Dan Lydiate for the 2021 Six Nations.

Lydiate, 33, last played international rugby against Australia in November 2018 in his 64th Wales cap.

Wales coach Wayne Pivac has named a 36-man squad which does not include Ospreys scrum-half Rhys Webb, although his team-mate Rhodri Jones is named as one of the props.

Wales open their Six Nations campaign against Ireland in Cardiff on 7 February.

Prop Jones last played for Wales against South Africa in June 2018 and comes in at loose-head alongside Wyn Jones and Rhys Carre, with Rob Evans and Nicky Smith both injured. Tight-head Samson Lee is also ruled out through injury.

Hooker Elliott Dee is preferred to Sam Parry, while Scarlets skipper Ken Owens returns after the British and Irish Lion missed the autumn campaign with a shoulder injury.

Ospreys second-row Adam Beard is recalled while Jake Ball is named – despite being unavailable for Wales after the tournament as he leaves Scarlets to be closer to his family in Australia.

Wales captain and lock Alun Wyn Jones is battling to be fit for the opening match after damaging a knee against Italy in early December.

Lydiate is preferred to young Cardiff Blues back-rowers James Botham and Shane Lewis-Hughes who were capped in the autumn. Regional colleague Josh Navidi is named despite having not played this season because of concussion issues.

Scarlets flanker Josh Macleod is the one uncapped player in the squad. After being named in the initial autumn squad, Macleod was ruled out of contention for selection because of a hamstring injury.

Tomos Williams returns from injury instead of Webb, with Scarlets scrum-halves Gareth Davies and Kieran Hardy also included.

At fly-half, Blues’ Jarrod Evans is named alongside English-based pair Dan Biggar and Callum Sheedy.

Amongst the backline Liam Williams is included, despite being suspended for the opening game against Ireland after being sent off playing for Scarlets against Cardiff Blues on 9 January.

Hallam Amos is recalled with Jonah Holmes dropping out through injury although there is no room for Bristol teenager Ioan Lloyd.

“We are hugely looking forward to meeting up as a squad on Monday and to the forthcoming campaign,” said Pivac.

“The Guinness Six Nations is an important tournament and we have selected a squad accordingly.

“As we consistently spoke about, the autumn for us was about opportunity and development, looking ahead to RWC 2023 and it served that purpose for us.

“This campaign is different, it is tournament rugby and we are excited to get going and to play our part.

“We have picked a squad for this tournament based on form and we are excited to meet up on Monday and to get our preparation underway.”

Ross Moriarty, James Davies, Ellis Jenkins, Gareth Anscombe, Rhys Patchell and Scott Williams were also not considered because of injury.

Wales squad

Forwards: Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), Rhodri Jones (Ospreys), Elliot Dee (Dragons) Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Leon Brown (Dragons), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Will Rowlands (Wasps), Cory Hill (Cardiff Blues), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons), Taulupe Faletau (Bath), Josh MacLeod (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys).

Backs: Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints), Callum Sheedy (Bristol Bears), Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues), Johnny Williams (Scarlets), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Nick Tompkins (Dragons), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), George North (Ospreys), Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues), Hallam Amos (Cardiff Blues), Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester), Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets), Liam Williams (Scarlets).

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