FLANKER Dan Lydiate has been released from Wales' Guinness Six Nations squad due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury, sustained in the match against Ireland at the Principality Stadium.

The Ospreys man, who lives in Ammanford and hails from Abbeycwmhir, near Llandrindod Wells, will undergo assessments and consultations to establish the best course of management.

Making his welcome return to the Wales line-up, the 33-year-old lasted just 12 minutes, before he twisted his knee in the turf and hobbled off the pitch - and is now set to miss the rest of the season.

“Well what can I say, it’s been over two years since I have had the opportunity to be involved with the Welsh squad, and now this,” said Lydiate, who was playing his 65th game for his country.

“It’s always a massive honour and a privilege to pull on the famous red jersey, even though it was short lived, but I’m wishing the boys the best of luck for the rest of the Six Nations Tournament.”

Having worked so hard to regain his place in the starting line-up, Wales’ defence coach Gethin Jenkins said he was disappointed for the player, to see him leave the field so early in the 21-16 victory in Cardiff.

“We watched him a lot over the Christmas period, and he’s been the in-form number six in Wales,” said Jenkins.

“To see that happen so innocently, the first thing you do is look at the clock, and it’s probably 10 minutes gone, and you knew he was going off.

“I was gutted for him, obviously I've played with him, and you hope he gets well soon, because it's a tough pill to swallow for him, and for us as a squad.”

Lydiate had been selected to face Ireland in an all British and Irish Lions back-row for the Six Nations opener, alongside Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau, before being replaced by Josh Navidi.

When head coach Wayne Pivac announced his 36-man squad, Lydiate was preferred to young Cardiff Blues' back-rowers James Botham and Shane Lewis-Hughes, who had been capped in the autumn.

“He’s a form player at club level, he’s come into the camp and trained very well, so he deserved his start in our opinion, he brings a lot of experience, and he’s a hard-nosed player,” said Pivac.

Lydiate, whose first cap for Wales came in November 2009 against Argentina, made his Six Nations debut in 2011, and he made five appearances in that year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

He also featured in four of the five fixtures in the 2012 Six Nations Tournament, helping Wales to a Grand Slam - as well as picking up the 2012 RBS Six Nations Player of the Tournament title.

The blindside flanker also played in all three tests for the British and Irish Lions in 2013 against Australia, helping the famous touring side to achieve their first series success in 16 years.