DRAGONS lock Matthew Screech is unlucky to overlooked for the Six Nations in favour of Wasps' Will Rowlands after 'ticking every box' for Test selection, according to former Wales forward Andrew Coombs.

Wayne Pivac has named six second row forwards for the tournament with captain Alun Wyn Jones joined by Cory Hill, Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Seb Davies and uncapped Rowlands.

The 28-year-old Wasps forward's father Jeremy is from Pontllanfraith and has long been on the radar of Pivac, who tried to sign the 6ft 7ins, 19st 5lb bruiser when in charge of the Scarlets.

However, Coombs feels that selection is tough on his old teammate Screech, who has enjoyed a strong season for the Dragons.

The 27-year-old from Porth has been an everpresent for the region and impressed against his peers in the festive derbies against the Scarlets, Cardiff Blues and Ospreys.

South Wales Argus:

"I think that Screechy is really unlucky to not be in that squad," said Coombs, who won 10 caps and was a member of the Six Nations title-winning squad in 2013.

"They've been asking players to stay in Wales and play well in Wales, and he has ticked every box.

"Instead they have picked somebody who is playing in the Gallagher Premiership over him and that's pretty hard on Screechy.

"That big lock is what the coaches are looking for and if Wayne thinks that is going to deliver results then he is right to go with it.

"But that doesn't make it any easier on Screechy and you only have to look at his performances over Christmas to see how physical he is."

Screech, who is 6ft 5ins and 18st 3lbs, made his Dragons debut alongside Coombs in the 2013 win against Ulster at Rodney Parade.

The former Wales Under-20s international, who came through the ranks at Cardiff Blues, has gone on to become a stalwart for the region, racking up 140 appearances.

South Wales Argus:

"When I was at the Dragons he was young and raw but he has come on such much," said Coombs (pictured above).

"He has got better and better at the lineout but for me his biggest attribute is just how busy he is around the field.

"Screechy is an athlete and if he keeps working hard then I am sure he will eventually get that opportunity with Wales.

"That might come when there are injuries, as it did for me, and he just has to keep knocking on the door and putting in the performances that he did in the derbies because he is a talented player."

Screech has to wait for his chance but Rowlands is ready to grasp his opportunity to impress.

"I pride myself on bringing physicality," said the lock with Gwent heritage.

"First and foremost you have to focus on the meat, which for a second row is your set-piece, scrum, lineout then tackles, breakdown.

"I think I've got stuff I can offer in attack and I've got a bit of dynamism when I get going.

"If I get picked to play fantastic, but it's a competitive squad and I will just do my part."