WALES boss Warren Gatland says that the dynamic uncapped Dragons duo of Elliot Dee and Leon Brown fit the modern blueprint for a front row player.

Hooker Dee and tighthead Brown have been named in the squad for the autumn internationals along with Rodney Parade teammates lock Cory Hill, centre Tyler Morgan and full-back/wing Hallam Amos.

The front rowers have been rewarded for a superb start to the season with Bernard Jackman’s men and will now aim to make their bows on the Test scene against Australia, Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Dee has long been on the radar of the international management team but, after a nightmare 2016/17 that was ruined by ankle and nose injuries, the 23-year-old from Newbridge has finally forced his way in after some livewire performances.

“What I like about Elliot, and I’ve been to a couple of games and watched him off the ball, is that he has got an exceptional work rate,” said Gatland, himself a former hooker.

“He is athletic, works hard, gets off the ground and chases everything. He has got some work to do in the set piece and the tight, he knows that, but he is exciting.

“He’s got a good work rate, has been scoring tries and is that player we are looking for with the way that the game is going – you’ve got to have mobile, athletic players and those two [Dragons] players fit those roles.”

While Dee tussles with Lions ace Ken Owens and Kristian Dacey for a spot in the matchday squads at Principality Stadium, Brown will be up against Samson Lee and Tomas Francis.

The 20-year-old from Maesglas, who turns 21 tomorrow [Thurs], is no stranger to the Wales set-up after previously being invited to train with Gatland’s Test stars.

The next step is to chase down a cap and the head coach is excited about having an even closer look at the strong-running prop, who has just 10 senior appearances to his name, in the build-up to the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

“Leon is one for the future,” said Gatland. “He has got some work to do but he is explosive and I have no doubt that, although it might take a couple of years, he will play a lot of games for Wales.

“We need to be a part of that development now, expose him and see if we can get him ready.”

The Dragons contingent would have been six-strong were it not for Ollie Griffiths’ jaw injury suffered in the weekend win against Enisei-STM in Moscow.

The 22-year-old, who won his first cap against Tonga in the summer, joins a list of injured Welsh flankers featuring Sam Warburton, Ellis Jenkins and James Davies.

That has opened the door for Brynmawr’s Sam Cross to earn a shock selection just days after the Wales 7s captain, a silver medallist with Great Britain at the Rio Olympics, made his regional bow for the Ospreys at Saracens.