BOSS Wayne Pivac has hailed Dragons prop Leon Brown as the perfect fit for his new-look Wales side after handing the tighthead a Six Nations debut.

The 23-year-old from Newport will make his tournament bow off the bench against Italy at Principality Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 2.15pm).

Brown made his Test debut against Australia in the autumn of 2017 and has won six caps.

The last of those was against Ireland in a World Cup warm-up clash in Cardiff when he was yellow-carded for scrummaging offences.

Brown subsequently missed out on the squad for Japan but returned to the Dragons where he has gone back to basics with his scrummaging, working with coaches Ceri Jones and Olivier Azam.

South Wales Argus:

The young front-rower has reaped the rewards and his impressive regional form led to a call-up for the uncapped November fixture against the Barbarians.

Brown came off the bench at Principality Stadium and will once again be charged with adding energy when he replaces Dillon Lewis against the Azzurri this weekend.

The Dragons forward has long been tipped for the top because of his strong ball carrying and power around the field.

New head coach Pivac arrives with the intention of playing a more expansive style and believes Brown, who scored a sensational 40-metre try in the festive derby win against the Ospreys, ticks the boxes for what the management want from their props.

South Wales Argus:

"Leon is a young prop who is nowhere near the finishing product," said Pivac, who picked Brown ahead of uncapped Sale tighthead Willgriff John. "He has been doing a lot of good work, as all the props are, with (forwards coach) Jonathan Humphreys.

"He is learning a lot and is getting better and better each training session. He has come a long way in a very, very short space of time.

"Leon is an exciting prospect because he fits the profile that we are looking for – he is a big man and is very quick in training with fast feet.

"It's just about getting him into good habits and making sure he can repeat performances week in, week out. He deserves an opportunity and has trained well."

Brown is one of four Dragons in the matchday squad with Aaron Wainwright starting at blindside flanker.

Ross Moriarty has to settle for a place on the bench, with Rodney Parade great Taulupe Faletau making a welcome return at number eight, and he is joined among the replacements by lock Cory Hill.

Dragons hooker Elliot Dee's 18-Test streak is ended by a rib injury that has prevented him from playing a full part in training.