ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Sunday Dec 27, 2009

Dan Lydiate comeback after breaking his neck

Dan Lydiate comeback after breaking his neck

Two years after suffering a career-threatening injury, Newport-Gwent Dragons flanker Dan Lydiate made a remarkable comeback. This is the story of how he not only made it back into professional rugby, but earned his first cap for his country.

Twenty one year old Lydiate broke his neck when playing a Heineken Cup group match against Perpignan two years ago, leaving him with temporary paralysis and requiring surgery.

“I wasnt knocked unconscious or anything like that,” he says. “I remember exactly how it happened and laying there thinking it is not good. It was a pretty scary time.

“When it happens, you lose the feeling in your arms and legs. Anybody would be scared. The medical people were also scared to move me at first, but they took all the necessary precautions and I couldnt fault them.”

The collision left him with a crushed disc, broken vertebra, and torn ligaments in his neck. He underwent surgery in November 2007, not knowing what the future held.

“I didnt know if I would walk or whatever, but it was established I was going to be fine,” he said. “The next question was whether I would be able to play again. Once I had the operation, they said there was no reason why I couldnt. You just start building from there.”

He was back walking again within three weeks, but a career in the physically bruising world of rugby looked likely to be improbable. He sat out of the game, doing a bit of work on the family farm, and wondering if hed ever make it back after such an ordeal.

Watching Wales win the Grand Slam in 2008 added to the feeling of disappointment he had to deal with while unable to play. “It was terribly frustrating,” said Lydiate. “I love my rugby and was chuffed that Wales had won the Grand Slam. But I found it too difficult to watch at times.

“I suppose they were the darkest days, although through it all, I never let go of the possibility of getting back and maybe, one day, playing at that level.”

Exactly two years on from the fateful night, he made his debut against Argentina off the bench at the Millennium Stadium. It was the culmination of a dream that he’d worked hard for after the horrific injury that almost changed his life forever.

“When things like that happen, you are just happy to walk again,” he said. “Then, once you start training, you get the bug again and start wondering ‘what if?’.”

He only got ten minutes to play against Argentina, but loved every moment of it.

“I havent stopped smiling,” he said, “I kept my cap on as long as I could in the evening function, it was a huge honour for me.

“My family were all down at the game and my mam didnt stop crying all day, she still had tears in her eyes on Sunday,” he said after his debut.

Inspirational stuff.

Time: 03:26

ADVERTISEMENT

Related Articles

  • 59 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: These monster punts will be even more...

  • 62 WEEKS AGO

    50:22 law variation explained as only Wayne...

  • 192 WEEKS AGO

    Carlin Isles gym footage shows fascinating...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    Carlos Spencer Proves Why He Is Rugby's Greatest Ever Magician

  • 16 WEEKS AGO

    Jero De La Fuente pulls Hamstring and uses it to score incredible try

  • 16 WEEKS AGO

    Waisale Serevi: The greatest sevens player ever

  • 16 WEEKS AGO

    David Campese: The Aussie all time great

  • 16 WEEKS AGO

    The man who once raced a Cheetah: Bryan Habana

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Owen Farrell’s Savage Shot At Kurt-Lee Arendse Caught On Ref Mic

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    England Hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie Once Again Gets Called Out For Tackle Technique

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Faf de Klerk Pushes All The Right Buttons To Wind Jonny Hill Up

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Two Of World Rugby’s Best Set To Go Head-To-Head

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Los Pumas Backrow Marcos Kremer Handed Mid-Range Ban Follow Red In Scotland Match

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Finn Russell Sets Up Worldie Try As Scotland Flex Their Muscles Against 14-Man Argentina

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Kyle Sinckler pushes insane amount on the leg press

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Harry Potter misfires comeback spell as Bath defeat Leicester

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Lions Star Jordan Hendrikse Smashes 70m Penalty Kick

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Watch Adam Hastings hit 50m+ match winning drop goal in extraordinary scenes

View All

Funnies

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Throwback to the most awkward interview of all time

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Brutal Story Reveals How Tough Eddie Jones Is On His Staff

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Stuart Hogg Scares The Pants Off Duhan van der Merwe

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    One Year On From Freddie Steward's Brilliant Post Springbok Match Interview

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    World Class Sledging During Scotland vs Argentina Match Picked Up On Ref Mic

View All

Amateur

  • 18 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 18 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 18 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

  • 19 WEEKS AGO

    Hilarious Club House Antics Shows Rugby Spirit

  • 24 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: South African Schools Rugby Is On Fire

View All

Player Features

  • 8 HOURS AGO

    Francois Hougaard signs for premiership side on short term deal

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Exeter hooker to France is a 'done deal' according to reports

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Throwback to the most awkward interview of all time

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Emotional scenes as Tom Wood exits Franklin’s Gardens for the final time

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Cipriani set to start in last Barbarians test of the year

View All