Lions 2013: Dan Lydiate 'shocked' by selection for Australia tour

Newport Gwent Dragons and Wales flanker Dan Lydiate pictured with a Lions shirt.

Dan Lydiate says he was "shocked" to hear his name read out as a member of the 2013 British and Irish Lions party to tour Australia.

The Dragons and Wales blind-side was listening on the radio when Lions team manager Andy Irvine read out his name on Tuesday.

"I was shocked, but it was nice to hear my name being read out," he said.

Lydiate, 25, missed the 2013 Six Nations with injury after being named player of the tournament in 2012.

He has played four matches since returning for the Dragons against the Ospreys on 22 March.

Before his return, Lydiate had been out of action since breaking his ankle in the Dragons' win over Edinburgh on 30 September, 2012.

That inactivity had led to Lydiate lowering his expectations ahead of the Lions squad announcement in London.

But the Dragons star was one of 15 Welsh players named in Warren Gatland's squad.

"I wasn't expecting anything because I missed six months of the year, so to hear my name being called out was a huge shock.

"I'm still trying to take it in now actually, I'm just chuffed really.

"I was at Dragons training and we finished the session and we were travelling between venues so we heard it on the radio, sort of all gathered round one of the boys' cars."

"The boys have played so well and I knew it was stiff competition in Wales, let alone in the British Isles, so I wasn't expecting anything. I'm sort of on cloud nine at the minute, just trying top take it in."

Lydiate is due to play his last game for the Dragons on Friday, having confirmed he is leaving at the end of the season for a club in France, reported to be Racing Metro.

And in spite of history of injuries, isn't going to wrap himself in cotton wool now he's been named in the touring party for Australia.

"I've missed so much of the season I want to play games," he said.

"It's almost like I'm starting the season and I need game time. Maybe for some of the other boys they've had a long season and are nursing a few bumps and bruises and they might be thinking that, but I'm feeling quite fresh at the minute so I want to play.

"It's like an end of an era for me because I've been there [the Dragons] since I was a kid.

"It might be a bit emotional, but I'm looking forward to it, donning the jersey for the last time and wearing it with pride and hopefully putting in a good performance for them because they've been good to me throughout my career."

Lions squad for 2013 tour

Backs: Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Rob Kearney (Ireland), Tommy Bowe (Ireland), Alex Cuthbert (Wales), Sean Maitland (Scotland), George North (Wales), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland), Jamie Roberts (Wales), Manu Tuilagi (England), Owen Farrell (England), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Conor Murray (Ireland), Mike Phillips (Wales), Ben Youngs (England).

Forwards: Dan Cole (England), Cian Healy (Ireland), Gethin Jenkins (Wales), Adam Jones (Wales), Matt Stevens (England), Mako Vunipola (England), Dylan Hartley (England), Richard Hibbard (Wales), Tom Youngs (England), Ian Evans (Wales), Richie Gray (Scotland), Alun-Wyn Jones (Wales), Paul O'Connell (Ireland), Geoff Parling (England), Tom Croft (England), Toby Faletau (Wales), Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), Dan Lydiate (Wales), Sean O'Brien (Ireland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Sam Warburton (Wales).

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