Six Nations 2014: Wales' Dan Lydiate returns to squad

Flanker Dan Lydiate
Flanker Dan Lydiate

Dan Lydiate will return to the Wales squad before Saturday's Six Nations opener against Italy after his fiancee Nia gave birth to a girl in Paris on Tuesday.

The Racing Metro forward, 26, had flown back to France to be at the birth.

Lydiate is named in Wales coach Warren Gatland's starting line-up to face Italy in Cardiff.

Sam Warburton had been put on standby in case Lydiate was not able to return in time.

However, Lydiate was expected to return to Wales on Wednesday and take part in training on Thursday.

Gatland had told WRU TV:external-link "We always stress how important family is in the squad."

The coach said he will give Lydiate as long as he needs, but that the blind-side specialist has already told him he wants to play against Italy.

"If he gets back tomorrow, Thursday or even Friday we can accommodate being without him for a couple of days," said Gatland on Tuesday.

"We have told him to take a weekend and come back next week but he is adamant he wants to play [against Italy]."

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