WALES and Dragons hooker Elliot Dee is backing Coleg Gwent to crown themselves national champions tomorrow – and give more players the springboard to play for their country.

World Cup star Dee has been invited to provide a pre-game pep talk to the class of 2020 before they face Coleg y Cymoedd in the Welsh Schools & Colleges League final at Sardis Road in Pontypridd.

The match – which is live on the S4C website and the Rygbi Pawb Facebook Live page at 7.30pm tomorrow night, with Rygbi Pawb highlights televised on S4C on Wednesday at 10.30pm – is a showdown between the top two finishers in the league this season.

For the first time in the 10-year history of the competition, Coleg Sir Gâr have not made the final, while Coleg Gwent have the chance to repeat their one and only appearance in the showpiece, back in 2012 when they lifted the trophy.

Dee, who is set to add to his 29 caps in the upcoming Six Nations, was the Coleg Gwent hooker that day eight years ago, so it is no surprise that college coach Scott Matthews has asked the 25-year-old to address the current students.

"Scotty Matthews has asked me to go down and talk to the boys before the game," said the front rower Dee. "I will try and share a bit of my experience with them.

"I'm rooting for the boys and it would be great to see them do it again. It's brilliant to see them back in the final.

"Gwent rugby struggled last year with a few teams going down from the Welsh Premiership to the Championship, so it's good to see youngsters coming through again. They will feed into those clubs and hopefully into the Dragons as well."

Matthews himself played in that 2012 final, along with Dee and a number of players who went on to play regional rugby for the Dragons, such as Ollie Griffiths, Jack Dixon and James Benjamin.

This season has seen Coleg Gwent lose just one fixture – against their final opponents Cymoedd, so revenge will be on the menu for the Gwent side.

The race to occupy the top two spots went right to the wire, with Sir Gar and Cardiff & Vale College missing out after Gwent hammered Llandovery 39-15 to clinch their place in the final.

That victory featured four tries from rising star and Wales U18 wing Carrick McDonough, just one of a handful of players expected to follow Dee through the Dragons academy team to the senior regional side.

The intense competition of the student league – and the demand the colleges place on the players – provide a perfect grounding for those moving onto professional rugby, says Dee.

"We went from training two or three nights a week to having whole days set out within a pro environment," he said.

"It was similar to any professional environment I've since been in. We might do our college lessons apart, but there would be set times when we would be together out on the field, or in the gym. The week was set exactly how a pro team would be set-up.

"But it wasn't just the playing and training. We had access to computers and we learned how to review and analyse properly. Before that, none of us really looked back on things and reviewed performance.

"It's a very important part of the game these days – reviewing and learning from those reviews, and also previewing opposition. But you have to learn those skills and we did that.

"Certain games were televised back then, and that's obviously been extended. That was good, because it got players used to that pressure of having a camera stuck in your face. That just adds to the excitement when you're a young man."