AARON Wainwright has caught the eye of the Wales management in World Cup year thanks a dynamism similar to Lions legend Sam Warburton, believes his Dragons boss.

The 21-year-old from Bassaleg will win his second cap when he comes off the bench in the autumn opener against Scotland tomorrow, enjoying a first Test appearance at Principality Stadium.

Wainwright enjoyed a rapid rise last season to go from a Dragons debut in October to selection for the summer tour as a replacement for the injured Josh Navidi.

He was an unused replacement against South Africa then made his international bow with an energetic cameo against Argentina.

Wainwright earned the praise of Warren Gatland after making 13 tackles in just 28 minutes on the pitch and the head coach has handed the prospect another chance this weekend as back up for the trio of Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty.

His regional boss believes it is the flanker’s athleticism that has put him on the Test radar in the build-up to Japan 2019, likening him to recently-retired Wales and Lions legend Warburton.

“Aaron is a phenomenal athlete who works incredibly really hard on his game, he is studious and does his homework,” said Dragons forwards coach Ceri Jones.

“As an athlete I think that Wales will be very impressed with him. Look at Sam Warburton’s physique and you can understand why they like the look of Aaron Wainwright, because he’s not far away from Sam’s height and athletic ability.

“I am not saying that you can compare him to Sam at the moment, because Sam was a great player with huge knowledge of the game, but athletically he is pretty near and I think that’s possibly why Wales are looking at him.”

Wainwright has operated mainly as a blindside flanker in club rugby this season but it is former Dragons captain Lydiate who gets the nod at 6 against the Scots.

The 30-year-old won the last of his 62 caps against South Africa last autumn and has seen a raft of back row forwards impress in his absence.

“He knows how important it is that he gives a good performance,” said Gatland. “It’s been challenging for him because there has been a certain amount of criticism out there about his selection, people were talking up other players.

“With our back row we’ve looked for balance and we know how lucky we are with the sevens that we’ve got.

“We are looking for the balance, we know that Ross can play six as well. With Taulupe Faletau not being in the squad, Dan coming in gives us a bit of solidity, experience and a bit of size.

“He knows how important a good performance is.”

Ellis Jenkins, the other back row forward in the squad, is nearing a return from a shoulder injury and if he comes through contact training then he will be in contention for Australia next week.