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‘O’Brien is beef and I’m cattle’: Lydiate keen to link up with his Irish equivalent

The Paris-bound flanker even offered to give Sean O’Brien a hand on the farm, if he needs it.

Image: INPHO

FOR A FARMER, Dan Lydiate had a surprisingly difficult time remembering exactly what breed of livestock numbers in the 600s around his Llandrindod Wells home .

Granted, the flanker still had his socks loosely tied around his shins after an intense training session in warm conditions at Carton House.

But if we’d back anyone to correctly identify a sheep, it would have been him.

Like Sean O’Brien (along with English brothers Tom and Ben Youngs) Lydiate is never one to shy away from his farming roots and is looking forward to comparing notes with the man who will he his direct competitor for a number six shirt.

“I’ve played against Sean a few times now, he’s a quality player.” Says the 25-year-old. “I was chatting to him the first day we met up. He’s a farm boy, so we’ve a few things in common and we were having a chat about that. He seems a top lad.”

Lydiate is an extremly affable man with a smile that belies his ferocious character on the field of play. So we like to think it was a Freudian slip when the 2012 Six Nations Player of the Year began to compare Welsh and Irish farming styles

“Well he’s beef I’m cattle… Well, no. I mean, he’s beef, I’m sheep. So there’s different aspects there, but I’ll quiz him and see what he’s got to offer.

“I’ll give him a hand if he needs it; he only lives 40 minutes up the road.”

Lydiate’s work ethic is not exclusively organically grown in Wales, however. Born in Salford, his father worked in shipyards until the family moved closer to his mother’s home.

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Mostly Welsh, half English; but the outgoing Dragons back row’s Irish connections are growing too. He will be among Jonathan Sexton and Jamie Roberts on the list of stars joining Racing Metro once the summer’s done.

‘Tidy’

“I said hello to Jonny [last Monday] and he seems like a real tidy guy. Hopefully we’ll have a coffee out in Australia and have a chat.

And with Ronan O’Gara the latest name added to their staff, Lydiate paid tribute to the man he’d soon be working alongside.

“It’s awesome to have such quality signings for the same team that you’re going to be going to and it gets me really excited to be playing along with and coached by legends of the game.”

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Sean Farrell

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