Lydiate shock after tackling his way to Six Nations' player award

 

He can shear a sheep in three minutes and knock down a Frenchman in a flash.

Dan Lydiate played an absolute blinder in Wales's Grand Slam clincher against France in Cardiff on Saturday and yesterday the dynamic one-man tackle machine of a blindside flanker picked up the 2012 Six Nations Player of the Championship award.

The 23-year-old farmer's son from Llandrindod Wells received more than 25 per cent of votes cast by 30,000 fans, emerging ahead of the Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton and Italy's captain Sergio Parisse.

"I am really surprised, to be honest," Lydiate said. "I'm so happy and so chuffed. I looked at the trophy and you have Shane Williams and Brian O'Driscoll on there – legends of the game. It seems strange for me to pick up the award. It's a massive honour to win, especially given the quality of the other players up for the award."

The shortlist also included Lydiate's team-mates Sam Warburton, Alex Cuthbert and Mike Phillips. "Dan in the French game was absolutely phenomenal," Warburton said. "I've never seen anybody in so much pain after a game. He doesn't feel pain during a game; he has the heart of a lion."

Sadly, the collateral damage suffered over the years by Jerry Flannery has forced the Munster and Ireland hooker to hang up his boots at the age of 33. Flannery has not played since Ireland's World Cup pool match against the United States in September last year because of calf and back problems and has been advised to retire on medical grounds.

"Since my injury at the 2011 World Cup I've struggled to regain the level of fitness required to play at this level," he said. Flannery, who was capped 41 times, was not the only Munster player reaching a crossroads yesterday. Scrum-half Tomas O'Leary, capped 24 times by Ireland, is to join London Irish at the end of the season on a three-year contract.

Brian Smith, London Irish's director of rugby, said: "Tomas will be a fantastic addition to our squad. He will bring with him a wealth of experience and a winning mentality."

The former chief executive of the InterContinental Hotels Group has been hired to run the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. Andrew Coslett will become chairman of the tournament organisers next month.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific