Dan Lydiate: Ospreys flanker faces battle for Wales recall
Ospreys flanker Dan Lydiate believes he is at the bottom of the Wales back-row pecking order as he looks towards an international recall.
Lydiate missed most of last season through injury with Josh Navidi, Ellis Jenkins, James Davies and Ross Moriarty impressing in his absence.
The 30-year-old admits he has a battle to add to his 62 Wales caps.
"You have to start again from the bottom but also have belief in your ability," said Lydiate.
"As long as I can stay injury free, I have that belief. In the summer the boys coming through for Wales put their hands up.
"You have to prove yourself every season, especially coming back from an injury. You go again and hopefully you can turn a few heads."
After enjoying a rare full pre-season, Lydiate started for the Ospreys in their opening Pro14 win over Edinburgh and is in line to play against Cheetahs this Saturday.
The former Dragons and Racing 92 flanker missed most of the 2016/17 season through a knee injury.
Lydiate battled back to be involved in the 2017 autumn series when he captained Wales in the victory over Georgia and was a replacement in the win over South Africa.
The 30-year-old was then ruled out for five months with a bicep injury suffered in an Ospreys victory over Dragons in December 2017.
Lydiate was not considered for the summer tour despite returning for the Ospreys final match of the season in May 2018 against Ulster.
The 2013 British and Irish Lions back-rower has seen his close friend Sam Warburton retire over the summer but insists he will carry on playing despite suffering a number of long-term injuries.
"I have always said for forever long I play this game, I never want to have any regrets," said Lydiate.
"I will train as hard as I can and play as hard as I can for as long as I can and when my time is up, my time is up.
"Whether that is through injury or whether I am not good enough, so be it.
"While I am here, I will give as good as I get and will have no regrets either way."
Lydiate is one of five Ospreys players on a national dual contract, something which Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips says could soon be coming to an end.
"It has been good for me, giving me the opportunity to come back to Wales," said Lydiate.
"When I was injured, I have been able to have rehab at the Vale (Wales' team base) and use those outstanding facilities and then come back to this environment.
"It has benefited me personally, but I am not sure how it will work in the future."