DRAGONS boss Dean Ryan has hailed tighthead Leon Brown's "outstanding" response to his World Cup disappointment – with the Wales prop reaping the benefits of working with a former France international.

Brown won his sixth cap in the warm-up Test against Ireland in August but missed the cut for Japan, with Warren Gatland taking Tomas Francis and Dillon Lewis.

The 23-year-old from Maesglas returned to regional duty and has started the first four games on the Guinness PRO14.

Brown has earned the praise of director of rugby Ryan, who has brought in ex-France and Gloucester hooker/prop Olivier Azam to provide extra pearls of wisdom to the front rowers.

South Wales Argus:

"Leon came out of the World Cup and was pretty disappointed, so we were keen to get some support around him and he has been outstanding over the last three weeks," said Ryan.

"He has made huge strides in terms of what we are trying to achieve with him at the scrum. Having some voices around and different experiences is great for him, so we are pleased with his progress.

"Olivier has a lot to offer and a huge amount of experience – he has coached Toulon to a Champions Cup, coached as head at Stade Francais, Oyonnax and played in England.

"When you have got that combination from some of the challenges of the physical power of French scrummaging and then the discipline and pressure game from England, he has real experience to offer to people.

"That's what we are doing for Leon, as well as some of the other front rowers. We wanted to make this an environment where people can get the information that can help them on weekends.

"I am really pleased with how that is going with all the front rows."

South Wales Argus:

Brown and the tight five are still being helped by former Wales and Harlequins prop Ceri Jones, who returned to his role of forwards coach after being caretaker boss for the second half of last season.

Ryan has stressed that the presence of Azam, who used to play under him at Gloucester, is to complement the work of Jones.

"Having someone else in the room that has got similar attributes is not a threat, it's just more people, more views and more support," said Ryan. "What you've got to do is harness that and point it in the right direction."

The pack are also getting assistance from Wales lock Cory Hill, who has returned to training on his comeback trail from the leg injury that forced his return from the World Cup without playing a game.

"We are not setting targets, Cory is in working with us and I am going to stonewall questions until I have got an answer," said Ryan when asked if there was an approximate return date for the 27-year-old.

"Cory is in great shape and is working hard, but there is point in trying to pull it forward for a couple of weeks and making it a risky situation.

"We've got to get Cory right and I'd almost like it for him to be past being right so that he is ready and looking to contribute.

"But it's good to have him back, he's a good steadying influence and we've got him involved in some of the lineout calling and support work."

The Dragons face Leinster tomorrow night and name their team for Dublin at midday.