WALES boss Warren Gatland knows that he is flinging Dragons prospect Leon Brown into the deep end against Australia on Saturday – but believes the prop will be buoyed by giving England a torrid time in training.

The 21-year-old from Maesglas is set to make his Test bow against the Wallabies from the bench at Principality Stadium (kick-off 5.15pm) less than a year after making his regional debut.

The tighthead, who is backing up Tomas Francis in the absence of Samson Lee (Achilles), has only made 11 appearances for the Dragons since his first outing at Leicester last November.

However, he caught the eye of the Wales management after being invited to train with the squad last autumn and enhanced his burgeoning reputation in Bristol at the start of the week.

The Welsh pack locked horns with their English counterparts and Brown didn’t shy away from his tussles with looseheads Mako Vunipola and Ellis Genge, giving the bright prospect a lift ahead of his date with the Aussies.

“I was really pleased with him on Monday, I spoke to Eddie Jones before and said that we had some youngsters here and don’t have as much depth [as England],” said Gatland.

“We see some youngsters that come onto the scene and we know that they are not ready but we have to expose them quickly and try and bring them on.

“I joke with Jonathan Davies that in his first cap in Principality Stadium he was like a rabbit in the headlights, that’s how fast the game was going.

“But we had to expose him, we knew he was going to be good and that he would improve over the next couple of years.

“With Leon, I said to Eddie that we had a kid that we think is going to be good but that he is two years away.

“It was pleasing that his first scrum he went and dominated his opposition – a very experienced player – and that will have built him up and given him a lot of confidence in the way that he scrummaged.

“Leon has been good in the first couple of weeks and learnt a lot in the first week here. Hopefully he gets some good game time.”

The assessment of Brown by Gatland, who declined to reveal which England loosehead was "dominated", was backed up by captain Alun Wyn Jones.

“To see Leon go toe-to-toe on Monday was pretty impressive,” said the iconic lock. “It’s easy to replicate intensity at lineout time but when you’ve got two scrums when we train against each other [in Wales camp] it’s quite difficult.

“I’ve been impressed so far and I hope he goes well on the weekend. There’s good young blood coming through in the squad.”