DRAGONS captain Cory Hill has vowed to repay the faith shown in him by Wales boss Warren Gatland after fearing his World Cup dreams had been shattered by injury.

The lock has been selected in Wales' 31-strong squad for Japan despite small fracture in his left leg that means he will miss the start of the tournament.

Hill has not played since suffering an ankle injury when scoring the crucial try in the Six Nations win against England in February.

Head coach Gatland revealed after Saturday's loss to Ireland that the major selection debate would surround the fitness of the 27-year-old but said Hill was "worth the risk after giving him the green light.

South Wales Argus:

"The coaches have obviously taken a little bit of a gamble knowing I am going to be out for the first game, and potentially won't train for the first couple of weeks there," admitted Hill who joins captain Alun Wyn Jones, Adam Beard and Jake Ball at the expense of Bradley Davies.

"Now I have got to do everything I can to repay that, get back fit as soon as possible and do as much as I can off the field and try and still be involved.

"I like to think I am pretty positive but I am only human. A little part of you does think 'potentially, I am pushing my luck here'."

"At one stage, you think your hopes and dreams are gone. I am thankful to the management and staff for picking me in the squad."

South Wales Argus:

Hill still needs to hit fitness targets to ensure that he will be in the mix for the Australia game after sitting out the opener against Georgia.

While the rest of the squad focus on the final warm-up against Ireland, the Dragons captain will spend the week in Swansea trying to speed up the healing process in an oxygen chamber.

"We have got a remarkable medical staff here, one of the best in the world, and my trust and faith is in those guys. They will be doing everything they can to push me and get it right," said Hill.

"They have been known to turn boys around in a short space of time, and that's the plan, to turn it around as quickly as we possibly can and we will go from there.

"I have put a lot of work in over the pre-season, so it's about keeping that fitness in the bank with some off-feet stuff, and then getting back on feet and topping up.

"It is an exciting time for me. I have got to get back fit as soon as possible, and hopefully I can add a little bit to the squad on the field then."

Hill has been a mainstay of the Wales matchday squad since making his debut against Australia in the 2016 autumn internationals but faces a tussle with Beard and Ball to add to his tally of 24 caps in Japan.

"Throughout the whole of the squad there is massive competition. That's healthy and down to the coaching staff," he said.

"Their selection over the past two years has built towards the World Cup and I wouldn't have liked to have picked the 31-man squad on Sunday.

"Now I will be doing as much as I can to get fit as soon as possible to push to get the red jersey back on."