Byrne - I'm over the moon
Wales full-back Lee Byrne is now fully focused on facing England on Saturday after winning his appeal against a two-week ban.
Last Updated: 03/02/10 7:07pm
Wales full-back Lee Byrne is relieved to be focusing on facing England on Saturday after winning his appeal against a two-week ban.
The Ospreys star looked set to miss the start of the Six Nations after he was punished for his brief appearance as an illegal 16th player during his club's Heineken Cup win over Leicester last month.
However the suspension was quashed at a lengthy appeal hearing in Glasgow on Thursday, clearing Byrne to play for Wales this weekend.
Coach Warren Gatland had delayed naming his starting XV until after the hearing, allowing him to pick the 29-year-old for the game at Twickenham.
"I am absolutely over the moon to be honest," said Byrne.
"I am just glad to put the last four or five days behind me and be back on familiar ground preparing for a game of rugby, rather than thinking about an appeal hearing.
"All thoughts of the case are now immediately out of my mind, I've missed one training session in getting to Glasgow, but we are at the business end of the training week and all my focus now must be on Twickenham.
"I've really got to go on record thanking Roger Lewis (Welsh Rugby Union group chief executive) and the WRU's solicitors Hugh James for all that they did for me. They left no stone unturned and have really looked after me.
"I found myself in a difficult position, but I am just glad it's all over now. The support out there for me has been amazing.
"From random people coming up to me at the airport to wish me luck before I flew out to Glasgow, to all the texts and phone messages I've had since the result has been out.
"It's quite humbling to know you have that kind of support out there, and I just hope I can repay everyone with a performance."
Byrne admits he can't wait to return to international action having not played for Wales since the final game of the 2009 Six Nations against Ireland.
Having had to return home early from the British and Irish Lions' tour of South Africa during last summer, he then missed his country's entire autumn campaign through injury.
"It's just going to be great to get back to international rugby," he added.
"It feels like I've been away for ages after missing out on the autumn internationals due to the injury I picked up with the Lions.
"I found it very difficult to watch the boys in the autumn, and I ended up going away on holiday in the end because I'm not a great watcher.
"The expectation at the start of any campaign is immense, but the senior players in this squad have been through a lot together now.
"We have the experience and we have just got to handle that pressure - we know we can do it."