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."
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.
Dodgy tattoos, carthorses, Avatar and soft chins are revealed by Wales Sevens players Tom Williams and Sam Cross as they profile the Wales Sevens squad taking part in Hong Kong this weekend in the latest round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.