Wales flanker Dan Lydiate

Wales recall Dan Lydiate in 2021 Six Nations squad announcement

Wales have recalled Ospreys flanker Dan Lydiate for the 2021 Six Nations.

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

And while Lydiate awaits his first appearance since November 2018, there is no place for Ospreys scrum-half Rhys Webb in the 36-man squad named by Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.

“We think Dan (Lydiate) is the form six in the competition and has been throughout the season,” said Pivac.

“He brings a wealth of experience and he’s back playing some of his best rugby.

“We had a good look at some young players in the autumn and we know what they can do and what their work-ons are. Clear messages have been sent to those who missed out.

“Rhys (Webb) and I had a good chat his morning around the accuracy of his passing game, which he needs to work on and get those numbers back up.

“We questioned his pace at the top end of the game. The other three all bring electric pace, we know that. That is something in question at the moment with Rhys but he’s not out of the loop in playing for Wales in the future.”

Webb’s Ospreys teammate Rhodri Jones is included, having last played for Wales against South Africa in June 2018 and comes in at loosehead 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 winning his battle to be fit for the opening match after damaging knee ligaments 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. He will feature for Cardiff Blues against Scarlets this weekend.

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

Wales squad for the 2021 Six Nations:

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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