Jamie Roberts had to put in some hard work to make the starting line-up.
Jamie Roberts admits he was a relieved man to make tomorrow's starting line-up for Wales as Warren Gatland's men prepare to take on Ireland in the RBS 6 Nations showdown in Dublin.
The Blues centre, along with Scarlets playmaker Rhys Priestland were rated as only 50/50 for the game a week ago with knee injuries but both have won their race against time.
"It was touch and go," Roberts said. "I haven't played any competitive rugby since late December, but I went to Poland last week and had some good conditioning and recovery work.
"I started running at the end of the week and I have done some full contact work this week.
"I am just delighted to be part of such a huge match. I am sure I will be blowing a bit in the first 10 minutes, but then I will settle down. I hope I am good enough after six to eight weeks out."
Lydiate apart, Wales coach Warren Gatland has also lost prop Gethin Jenkins (knee), hookers Matthew Rees (calf strain) and Lloyd Burns (neck), plus locks Luke Charteris (wrist) and Alun-Wyn Jones (toe) from his Dublin plans.
Ten survivors remain from the team that claimed a comprehensive World Cup quarter-final win against Ireland in Wellington four months ago, with Jones, wing Alex Cuthbert, prop Rhys Gill and locks Bradley Davies and Ian Evans proving the exceptions.
Roberts added: "We not only need to emulate that World Cup game, but also improve on it, because nothing less will do.
"We need to produce the perfect game to beat Ireland, that is what it will take. We were very close to being perfect in the World Cup game, and we all need to put our hands up and produce again.
"Ireland away first up is one of the toughest challenges you can have in the tournament. Their players are playing well domestically, and they have the motivation of the World Cup and the defeat to us last year.
"The winning team in the first Six Nations game can get on a snowball, while the losers go away knowing that all the pressure is on them to win their next match to stay in the hunt."
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
Last week all roads led to Eugene Cross Park where defending champions Ebbw Vale hosted this season's launch of the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie was there to capture the thoughts of Damien Hudd, captain of Ebbw Vale, and WRU Head of Performance, Geraint John.
Llandovery made it three in a row when they defeated Aberavon in the final of the National Foster's 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday. On another eventful day of sevens, Newport claimed the Plate and the Dragons won the women's crown
Last week saw Cardiff welcome players from around the world for the 21st Golden Oldies Festival. The tournament features players over 35 years of age, and this year's event saw a select few represent the WRU in a 'friendly' against the Wooden Spoon.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.