Wales' Dan Lydiate 'chuffed' after birth of his daughter

Dan Lydiate says he is "chuffed" after returning to the Wales Six Nations squad after becoming a father.

British and Irish Lion Lydiate, 26, flew to Paris to be present when his fiancee Nia gave birth to a girl, Lucy.

The back row forward is now back in Wales preparing for the opening match against Italy on Saturday, and enjoying the attention.

"Everyone has congratulated me, there's been hugs but when you get training you have to switch on," he said.

"It's a bit surreal at the moment, but I'm obviously over the moon and just chuffed to bits.

"Her name's Lucy. She's a tiny little thing but mother and baby are doing really well and I'm just really happy."

Wales' Six Nations fixtures

  • 1 Feb: Italy (H)
  • 8 Feb: Ireland (A)
  • 21 Feb: France (H)
  • 9 March: England (A)
  • 15 March: Scotland (H)

The Welsh team management arranged flights for the Racing Metro player, who returned to training on Thursday morning after flying back to Wales the day before.

"With all the coaches and players, [Wales coach] Warren [Gatland] has always said that family comes first and when I told him about the situation he was more than happy for me to go over and be with her for the birth," added Lydiate.

"I can't thank him enough and it makes you appreciate the environment we've got here and how close everyone is. I came back here yesterday and coming back into the environment, everyone is shaking your hand and it's almost like a second family."

Wales are bidding to become the first team to win the Six Nations title three years running, starting at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday - a venue where Italy have never won.

But after wins against France and Ireland last season, Lydiate believes the Azzuri should not be underestimated.

"There's no better start than playing your first Six Nations game at home," said Lydiate.

"The Italians will be tough opposition but we have to go into it full of confidence and we're really looking forward to the game."