Dragons teen Jack Dixon relishing battle with Wales pair
9:02am Wednesday 18th September 2013 in Dragons
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons tyro Jack Dixon will look to prove his Test potential when he goes up against a pair of Wales centres at Rodney Parade on Friday evening.
Scott Williams and Jonathan Davies are poised to line-up for the Scarlets in the first Welsh derby of the RaboDirect Pro12 campaign.
Up against them will be Wales Under-20s ace Dixon, who is fast establishing himself as a key figure for the Dragons despite being just 18.
The teenager from Newbridge has already made 23 regional appearances and has started the season superbly.
His defensive work against Ulster and Edinburgh was excellent and he also caused problems with ball in hand, running directly with great power.
Dixon locked horns with Williams and Davies at the Millennium Stadium last season and could put himself in the mix for an autumn return to the capital if he performs well on Friday.
With Wales centre Jamie Roberts struggling with a ankle injury, spots in Warren Gatland's squad are up for grabs.
"It's always a challenge going up against Scott Williams and Jonathan Davies, I've watched them on the international stage and that's where I want to be in the future," said Dixon, who can play both inside and outside centre.
"Friday is a Welsh trial and I will give it everything. It's always good to play against boys who are at the top of their game and see where I am in my development.
"Jonathan Davies made a big statement in the summer by keeping Brian O'Driscoll out of the Lions side. I look up to him as a player and can learn a lot from him, but on Friday I'll give everything against him.
"I want to push into the Welsh senior squad and I think it's a realistic aim but I just have to bide my time, be patient and get my head down."
Dixon has certainly caught the eye of Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones, who paired him with Pat Leach for the Ulster and Edinburgh encounters.
It will be Ross Wardle at 13 on Friday after Leach suffered an elbow injury at Murrayfield and Jones is looking for another strong showing from his teenage 12.
"Jack has great promise," said Jones. "He still has lots on his game to improve but he has a good work ethic, nice touches and eye for the game.
"Those sort of qualities carry you through a long way but he's got areas that he needs to work and a lot of experiences ahead of him before he reaches his full potential."
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