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Lydiate ready for Irish battle

Wales flanker Dan Lydiate expects another tough contest in next Saturday's Six Nations game against Ireland in Dublin.

The Welsh have won three of their last four meetings with the Irish, but lost 30-22 at the Millennium Stadium last year after winning 23-21 on their previous visit to the Aviva Stadium in 2012.

"The last few games against Ireland have been real battles, and I expect it to be the same this time," said Lydiate.

"The match will probably hinge on a couple of incidents that could swing either way, and it could be a good spectacle.

"After the Lions tour there are a lot of Irish boys you are friendly with. I am playing at Racing Metro now with (Ireland fly-half) Johnny Sexton, so I am really looking forward to coming up against him.

Banter

"I am sure there will be a few texts in the week and some banter."

Wales captain Sam Warburton made his comeback from injury as a second-half replacement during the 23-15 victory over Italy in Cardiff on Saturday and head coach Warren Gatland looks set to recall him for the Ireland clash with either Lydiate or Justin Tipuric making way.

"Sam has been out a while. It's good to see him back on the field," Lydiate added.

"It would have done him the world of good to get the 15 or 20 minutes, and we will see what happens next week.

"We have got two world-class sevens now, and 'Tips' has been on fire all season. I have played with both of them, and they have played together as well, which they did so well last season.

"The coaches are spoilt for choice at the moment, and Ireland are the same. They are missing (Sean) O'Brien, but they have so much depth in the back row."