Lydiate expected to miss New Zealand tour


Wales are expected to be without Dan Lydiate for their tour of New Zealand after the stand-in captain was injured during Sunday's defeat against England at Twickenham.

Lydiate was named as skipper in the absence of Sam Warburton (shoulder), but lasted just 23 minutes of the 27-13 loss against the Six Nations Grand-Slam winners.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland revealed that the flanker is highly unlikely to feature in the three-match series against the All Blacks next month due to hamstring and shoulder problems.

"He's struggling," said Gatland. "He's got a hamstring and potentially an AC [shoulder] injury as well.

"We haven't made a decision yet, I think he's got a process.

"The tour could already be over for him and that's incredibly disappointing.

"It's unlikely he'll get on the plane tomorrow. He's going to ice it and see if there was potentially a miracle in the next 12 hours. It doesn't look positive."

England could have won by a far bigger margin if George Ford had not endured such an off day from the tee, but Gatland was not downhearted.

"I was happy with the first half, disappointed with the second half. We definitely needed a run because players haven't played at that level for a while and were blowing a bit." said the New Zealander.

"To get that game under our belt was pretty good. I was disappointed with aspects of the second half but they are not things we can't fix."

He added: "What's going to be important in New Zealand is keeping that tempo for 80 minutes. We've got a lot of players who haven't played at that level for a while.

"None of our teams were involved in the knockout stages of Europe [Champions Cup], England had five and some of their players were in semi-finals last week.

"We were happy with the way that we started and lots of things in the first half but struggled with it for 80 minutes. The whole reason for this game was to get that under our belts to hit the ground running in New Zealand."