Dan Lydiate is looking forward to continuing his comeback on Judgement Day
Dan Lydiate is relishing his long-awaited return to the Millennium Stadium as Newport Gwent Dragons host the Scarlets on Saturday.
The Welsh regions clash in the first East versus West derby of Judgement Day.
Lydiate has plenty of fond memories from the iconic ground having been a major part of Wales' 2012 RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam - for which he was named Player of the Championship.
And after returning to action against the Ospreys last Friday, Lydiate is thrilled to back in action at the home of Welsh
"It is exciting to come back here to the Millennium Stadium because it has been a long time since I have played here," said Lydiate. "It was over a year ago when I played against France which was not a bad occasion!
"It has been savage watching Wales since because I find it so hard not being involved. Everyone has ups and down days and I am a pretty positive person generally.
"But it is when you miss out on chances that it hurts. After being part of a Grand Slam but not being playing for Wales this season has been hard to take.
"I was here for the England game and while I was chuffed for the boys I found it difficult. The atmosphere was amazing and not something I had experienced before even at this ground
"For many of the Dragons boys this is the first time they will play at the Stadium. There is no bigger stage than the Millennium and I am just looking forward to getting back out on that pitch.
"The body was ready for me last week and I am happy just to be back on the paddock."
Lydiate has been touted as British & Irish Lion but he has limited time to secure his place on the summer tour of Australia.
And after suffering a broken neck at 19-years-old he is well aware that he can only afford to focus on one game at a time.
"Because I was injured early on in my career and picked up an ankle problem in the World Cup I have learned you can never look too far ahead," said Lydiate.
"I realise I was not going to play forever and know I have to make the most of my opportunities and I really have no regrets.
"I feel fresh because I have not been beaten up every week like I had for the previous 18 months.
"Everyone gets tired mentally and physically but I feel refreshed and am looking forward to finishing the season strongly.
"I was happy after the Ospreys game just to get through 40 minutes of rugby and my performance was almost secondary.
"I have that half under my belt which gives me so much confidence.
"I now need to start getting my match fitness back and over the next few weeks am hoping just to get a bit of form.
"I am not sure how long it will take and it might be the last game of the season where I will feel as if I am back."
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Wales head coach Rob Howley and captain Alun Wyn Jones are expecting a physical battle against France on Saturday but both are hoping for another impact from the bench as the men in red chase a top-four world ranking.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt believes the yellow card received by Johnathan Sexton was the crucial period of the game which handed victory to a 'clever' Wales side in a titanic RBS 6 Nations clash at Principality Stadium.
Man of the match Rhys Webb is delighted he and his team mates were able to produce a performance to make Welsh fans proud after Wales scored three tries en route to victory against a very good Ireland side at Principality Stadium.
All eyes on the Wales games against Ireland this weekend and we also hear from teams involved in the WRU Cup draw in the Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. Coach Rob Howley, captain Alun Wyn Jones, back rowers Ross Moriarty and Sam Warburton on Wales, backs coach Nick Wakley and scrum half Keira Bevan on Wales Women, forwards coach Chris Horsman and prop Rhys Carre on Wales U20s, while we also hear from Merthyr, Pontypridd and Cross Keys about still being up for the Cup.
Wales head coach Rob Howley has kept faith with the side who suffered a disappointing defeat to Scotland by naming an unchanged side to face Ireland on Friday evening at Principality Stadium in the penultimate round of the RBS 6 Nations.
Ospreys and Wales duo Rhys Webb and Scott Baldwin return to their home town club Bridgend Ravens as they prepare for life after their rugby playing careers by undertaking their coaching badges at the Principality Premiership outfit.
Defence coach Richard Hodges and centre Keiran Williams discuss their U20 Six Nations campaign after victory against Scotland. Wales U20 are back at home in Parc Eirias this Saturday (18:30) to face Ireland in the penultimate round of the competition.
Sam Warburton realises a Six Nations title is now out of the question after the defeat to Scotland, but the former skipper says Wales will be playing for pride when Ireland visit Principality Stadium in the next round of the RBS 6 Nations.
The Ospreys had hoped to win every game through to the end of the season and pick up some serious silverware, but a 13-5 defeat in Treviso means they lost ground on the top two in the Guinness PRO12 and remain in third place.
The unique jeopardy of Judgement Day V has been described by stars from Cardiff Blues, Ospreys, Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons who will face each other in the annual double-header at Principality Stadium on 15th April.
The unique jeopardy of Judgement Day V has been described by stars from the Cardiff Blues, Ospreys, Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons who will face each other in the annual double-header at Principality Stadium on 15th April.
The latest news, results and tables from the Blues region
The latest news, results and tables from the Dragons region
The latest news, results and tables from the Ospreys region
The latest news, results and tables from the Scarlets region