AMMANFORD resident Dan Lydiate has been named in Wayne Pivac’s team to face Ireland in their opening 2021 Guinness Six Nations encounter in Cardiff on Sunday, February 7 (ko 3pm).

The Ospreys’ flanker, who hails from Abbeycwmhir, just north of Llandrindod Wells, has been rewarded for his form, and will make his 65th appearance for Wales in an all British & Irish Lions back-row, alongside Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau.

"He’s a form player at club level, he’s come into the camp and trained very well, so he deserves a start in our opinion," said head coach Pivac on the team's announcement today (Friday).

"He’ll bring a lot of experience and he’s a hard-nosed player, he’s what we need in round one."

Captain Alun Wyn Jones will partner the returning Adam Beard in the second-row.

Carmarthen man Ken Owens returns to the side after missing the autumn campaign due to injury and lines up alongside Wyn Jones, who hails from Llandovery, and Tomas Francis.

Tomos Williams will make his first appearance since last year’s tournament after injury and partners Dan Biggar at half-back, whilst Johnny Williams partners George North in the centre, with North winning his 99th Wales cap.

The back-three comprises of Hallam Amos, Louis Rees-Zammit and Leigh Halfpenny.

“We are looking forward to kicking off our campaign this weekend and putting into action two really good training weeks,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.

“We made strides forward through the autumn and we are looking to take that into Sunday and into this tournament.

“The Six Nations is a fantastic tournament and is important for us rugby wise but it is important for so much more this year.

“It is important for communities across the country and we want to play our part and give everyone something to look forward to and to get excited about on the weekend.”

Elliot Dee, Rhodri Jones and Leon Brown provide the front-row cover for Wales with Will Rowlands and Josh Navidi completing the forward contingent. Gareth Davies, Callum Sheedy and Nick Tompkins provide the back-line cover.

Two men who don’t feature this weekend are Josh Adams, who has been suspended for two matches for a Covid breach, and Liam Williams, who is not available until the round two Scotland fixture due to a ban for a red card offence while on Scarlets duty.

Wales team to face Ireland:

1. Wyn Jones (30 Caps); 2. Ken Owens (77 Caps); 3. Tomas Francis (52 Caps); 4. Adam Beard (21 Caps); 5. Alun Wyn Jones (CAPT) (143 Caps); 6. Dan Lydiate (64 Caps); 7. Justin Tipuric (80 Caps); 8. Taulupe Faletau (81 Caps); 9. Tomos Williams (20 Caps); 10. Dan Biggar (87 Caps); 11. Hallam Amos (22 Caps); 12. Johnny Williams (2 Caps); 13. George North (98 Caps); 14. Louis Rees-Zammit (4 Caps); 15. Leigh Halfpenny (93 Caps).

Replacements: 16. Elliot Dee (33 Caps): 17. Rhodri Jones (17 Caps): 18. Leon Brown (12 Caps); 19. Will Rowlands (5 Caps); 20. Josh Navidi (24 Caps); 21. Gareth Davies (57 Caps); 22. Callum Sheedy (4 Caps); 23. Nick Tompkins (8 Caps).