NEW Wales boss Wayne Pivac is excited about unleashing "immense" Ollie Griffiths off the bench after giving the Dragons back row forward an international recall.

The 24-year-old from Newbridge will be an impact sub in the international fixture against the Barbarians at Principality Stadium, backing up the trio of captain Justin Tipuric, Aaron Shingler and Rodney Parade teammate Aaron Wainwright.

Griffiths has been knocking on the door for Test action for several seasons thanks to stellar displays for the Dragons only to be hindered by injury and Wales' back row depth.

He has won just one cap – a two-minute cameo in the win against Tonga in the summer of 2017 – but has the opportunity to put himself in the mix for the Six Nations by adding oomph off the bench against the Baa Baas.

South Wales Argus:

"Ollie has been very impressive in training," said Pivac, who is set for his first game at the helm after replacing Warren Gatland. "He is very, very strong over the ball and strong in the upper body.

"In some of the drills we've been doing in training he looks immense in that area of the game, when he gets in over the ball he is very tough to move.

"Ollie has had some injuries but from a club point of view over the last few years it's always easier to play the Dragons when he is not playing.

"He is a player who makes a difference to a team and is really excited about being named on the bench and will get an opportunity at some stage in the game. He is one of a few that we are looking forward to seeing coming off the bench."

South Wales Argus:

Griffiths features as one of four back rowers with his Dragons teammate Ross Moriarty, who played in all seven World Cup games, is not fit enough to be considered for the clash.

"He got some bad grazing over in Japan on his forehead and is still getting himself 100 per cent right," said Pivac.

"He's been pretty rundown and picked up a bad cold and then a chest infection, so he hasn't been able to do the training required for us to put him out there without risking injury."

Five Dragons feature against the Barbarians – Wainwright starts with Griffiths joined on the bench by hooker Elliot Dee, tighthead Leon Brown and fly-half Sam Davies.

Wing Ashton Hewitt will be a travelling reserve at Principality Stadium so will not be able to feature for his region in the Guinness PRO14 encounter with Zebre at Rodney Parade (kick-off 5.15pm) but back row forward Taine Basham has been released.