Now 35, and in his 14th year of international rugby, he is still ambitious to add to his 69 Welsh caps and has his sights set firmly on making it to a third World Cup. To do that, he has had to go through the rigours of the two week training camp in the Swiss Alps.
As hard as it has been for all 46 players in Fiesch, there have been no complaints from Lydiate.
“You expect it to be tough and it is tough going. We’ve got a good bunch of boys who are putting in the hard yards, and we’re having a laugh off the training field,” said Lydiate, who was the Six Nations Player of the Season in the 2012 Grand Slam campaign.
“Everyone is giving a good account of themselves. There are a lot of young backrowers and it’s been good to be around such a competitive group.
“It’s been important getting away, there are no distractions from your home life. We’re here to work hard and prepare as best we can for the upcoming games and the World Cup.”
Lydiate battled back from yet another injury to force his way into Warren Gatland’s plans, once again underlining his toughness and mental hardness.
“It’s about having no regrets. When I do hang up my boots, I’ll know I’ll have put absolutely everything into it,” he added.
“I’ll be able to rest easy knowing I’ve left no stone unturned, especially when it comes to effort. I do still enjoy the game, even though I’ve had lots of injuries.
“I’d probably have hung up my boots a long time ago if I wasn’t still enjoying it. While I still have a burning ambition, then I’ll keep going.
“There are times when you don’t think you’ll play international rugby again and I missed a few years through not being selected. I got called back up by Wayne Pivac and now I’m back with Gats again.
“It seems to have come full circle. – and it’s the same with my club rugby, going back to Dragons.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some really dark days. I’ve probably been blessed with some really good medical teams around me in my career and a lot of me coming back is down to them.
“For the last nine years I’ve been at the Ospreys they’ve been outstanding there and it’s not just how good they are at their profession, they’re good people too. If you surround yourself with good people, it makes it a lot easier when you have your dark days.
“You question yourself a lot of the time, and it’s tough. But I’m back in the mixer now and there is always light at the end of the tunnel which keeps driving you on.”
Having been left out of the 2019 World Cup squad, it is a credit to him that four years later he is pushing hard to make it again
“I had a phone call before the pre-season camps in 2019 saying I wasn’t going to be involved. It was very frustrating at the time but there’s not a lot you can do about it,” he added.
“You can throw your toys out the pram, or get on with it. That’s life, isn’t it? It’s never going to be smooth sailing.
“I kept my head down, kept on grafting and thought if it was meant to be that I’d play international rugby again, then it’ll be. If I didn’t, it wouldn’t have been through a lack of trying.
“If I go to this World Cup or not, it won’t be through a lack of trying. I’ll know I’ve put everything into it and can rest easy giving 100 per cent.”