DAN Lydiate marked his return to international rugby following a 12 month absence with a man of the match display as Wales beat Georgia 13-6 in Cardiff on Saturday.
The Abbey-cwm-hir raised flanker captained a youthful Wales side to a nervous victory as a a Hallam Amos try and eight points from boot of Rhys Priestland proved the difference at the Principality Stadium.
Lydiate admitted an error strewn second-half display meant Wales lived dangerously uin an uninspiring win.
Lydiate said: “It was a tale of two halves. In the second-half there were a lot of errors, a lot of stoppages. We weren't clinical enough in the second half. We're happy with the win, but the nerves were going at the end.”
However Lydiate insisted several of the young Welsh side had taken their chance to impress coach Warren Gatland ahead of the clash with world champions New Zealand.
“Some of the boys really shone,” said the 29 year old who captained Wales for a fourth time on his 60th appearance for his country,
Lydiate has endured a harrowing few years through injury which has seen his once cemented place in the Welsh and British Lions squads rivalled by the emergence of several new stars, including Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty and Aaron Shingler.
However the Ospreys star remains adamant he can force his way back into the thinking of Gatland following his return for club and country.
“It’s the nature of the beast in the position I play and how I play,” said Lydiate. “In the time I’ve been out I’ve really missed the game and if I didn’t have that then I’d have thought about calling it quits.
“I was desperate to get back. I’ve had a run of games with the Ospreys this season and it’s been great to be back in the national team environment.”
Lydiate was also happy to embrace his role as a senior player and hoped Saturday would not be the last time he captained his country.
“In rugby there will always be different stages of development and at the moment I’m at the back end of it and new boys are coming in,” said Lydiate.
“I wouldn’t expect anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do.
“I’ll chuck myself in front of a bus for the team so if the rest of the boys are the same, then we’ll get on great.”