The Dragons bolters set for last chance to earn Wales call-up for South Africa

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
CHANCE: Ollie Griffiths, Harri Keddie and Jack Dixon have been tipped by their Dragons boss for Wales call-ups
CHANCE: Ollie Griffiths, Harri Keddie and Jack Dixon have been tipped by their Dragons boss for Wales call-ups

DRAGONS boss Dean Ryan has urged Wales hopefuls Harri Keddie, Ollie Griffiths and Jack Dixon to make one last impression on Wayne Pivac before the squad to tour South Africa is named.

Keddie and Dixon will lead the charge for the Rodney Parade region against Cardiff in the United Rugby Championship this evening (kick-off 7.35pm).

Pivac names his squad for July's three-Test tour to face the Springboks next week and the national coaching staff will have one last look at contenders in tonight's derby.

Former England forward Ryan believes the Cardiff clash presents the perfect chance to get in the selection conversation.

"Derbies are the foundation of our game and I know that the Welsh squad is selected next week, so lots of people want to put their hands up to be on Wayne's radar. Derbies are the best platform to do that," said the director of rugby.

Ryan has frequently lauded the efforts of the uncapped pair of Keddie and Dixon this season, two leading lights in a nightmare season.

Captain Keddie has been a mainstay of the back row, racking up 17 appearances and impressing with his graft and appetite for collisions.

South Wales Argus: INFLUENTIAL: Harri Keddie
South Wales Argus: INFLUENTIAL: Harri Keddie

INFLUENTIAL: Harri Keddie

"If you look at numbers around work he is the highest performer in our squad week in, week out," said Ryan.

"He is clearly resilient and has hit consistent form, being really physical. There are lots of back row forwards in Wales and I think Harri's name will definitely be part of their discussions."

Hard-carrying Dixon has impressed recently in the absence of Aneurin Owen, who is on the comeback trail from a fractured ankle, and after the exit of Jamie Roberts to be reunited with his family in Australia.

The 27-year-old from Newbridge returns after missing the loss to the Ospreys with a foot issue.

Ryan said: "I thought that Josh Lewis did a really good job at 12 last week but I am keen to see Will Reed and Jack operate together, it's a combination that can give us width and directness at the same time.

South Wales Argus: FORM: Dragons centre Jack Dixon
South Wales Argus: FORM: Dragons centre Jack Dixon

FORM: Dragons centre Jack Dixon

"Zebre was my mistake, I asked Jack to play when he probably wasn't right but prior to that he was in outstanding form.

"It's for Wayne to decide but Jack needs to put his hand up this week and force himself into that discussion."

With Dragons duo Ross Moriarty and Aaron Wainwright injured along with Justin Tipuric, Ollie Griffiths is another back row contender.

The 27-year-old from Newbridge won his only cap against Tonga in 2017 and returned from injury with a typically dynamic display against the Ospreys last week.

Wales are blessed with a glut of options in the back row but Ryan hopes Griffiths will be considered.

South Wales Argus: DYNAMIC: Ollie Griffiths
South Wales Argus: DYNAMIC: Ollie Griffiths

DYNAMIC: Ollie Griffiths

"He is somebody that will be forcing his name into discussions for the summer," said the Dragons boss.

"If he puts in another performance like last week in another derby then I think it would be hard to not discuss him at the top level."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting