DRAGONS flanker Taine Basham has been backed to give Wales a 'spark' against England on his Twickenham debut tomorrow.

The 22-year-old from Talywain is enjoying a breakthrough season in Test rugby after making the most of back row injuries.

Basham made his international debut off the bench against Canada last summer and followed that up with another pair of appearances as a replacement against Argentina.

Injuries to Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletatu and Josh Navidi led to him playing every minute of the autumn clashes against New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and Australia and he started at openside flanker in the Six Nations opener at Ireland and blindside in the win against Scotland.

Basham's exploits mean that he is trusted alongside fit-again number eight Faletau and destructive Dragons teammate Ross Moriarty in London.

South Wales Argus: Taine Basham puts a hit in on Finn Russell with the help of Owen WatkinTaine Basham puts a hit in on Finn Russell with the help of Owen Watkin

"He has been awesome, to be fair. He is just a bundle of energy," said Lions lock Adam Beard, Wales' vice-captain.

"You just look at his work-rate around the park, he just gives us that go-forward and that spark. He has been great ever since he has come in.

"He is a confident character, but for someone like him he needs to breathe that confidence because that is when he brings the best out of himself.

"These youngsters have got to be confident, they have got to push their chest out, go out there and give the best account of themselves."

Basham first caught Wayne Pivac's eye with his dynamism for the Dragons but has since added the nuts and bolts to his game, along with improving his discipline.

The head coach isn't overcomplicating things for the up-and-coming flanker ahead of a big test against an imposing England pack.

"It'll be to continue on with the hard work he's putting in," said Pivac about the demands of Basham. "He's enjoying his rugby at the moment, so we want him to keep playing with a smile on his face.

"He'd been our starting seven until Scotland [when he switched to blindside] and he's done a really good job."

Basham and Moriarty are joined in the starting line-up by Dragons lock Will Rowlands with tighthead Leon Brown poised for his first Six Nations action of the season as a replacement.

The prop, who has played just one game in 2022 because of coronavirus postponements and Test duty, came off the bench in every game of last year's title triumph.

Wales: L Williams (Scarlets); A Cuthbert (Ospreys), O Watkin (Ospreys), N Tompkins (Saracens), J Adams (Cardiff); D Biggar (Northampton, captain), T Williams (Cardiff); W Jones (Scarlets), R Elias (Scarlets), T Francis (Ospreys), W Rowlands (Dragons), A Beard (Ospreys), R Moriarty (Dragons), T Basham (Dragons), T Faletau (Bath).

Replacements: D Lake (Ospreys), G Thomas (Ospreys), L Brown (Dragons), S Davies (Cardiff), J Morgan (Ospreys), K Hardy (Scarlets), G Anscombe (Ospreys), J Davies (Scarlets).