IN-FORM Dragons wing Jonah Holmes has been urged to put a marker down when he makes his return to the Wales XV this afternoon.

The 28-year-old starts in the Test against Canada in Cardiff (kick-off 3pm), a clash that is followed by two encounters with Argentina.

Holmes finished the season in stunning form for the Dragons after his 2020 move from Leicester, running in 10 tries in 10 games.

The speedster will hope to repeat those exploits on the Test stage in order to give head coach Wayne Pivac a selection headache next season.

Holmes took his tally of caps to five with two outings off the bench in the Autumn Nations Cup but missed out on the Six Nations.

With Liam Williams and Louis Rees-Zammit on Lions duty, the Dragons has a chance to showcase his talent with a first international start since facing Italy in the 2019 Six Nations.

South Wales Argus:

"He's played extremely well, he's scored quite a few tries (in the run-in) and he has got an opportunity," said captain Jonathan Davies.

"He has been very patient. The way he has trained over the last couple of weeks, he's hungry to get his hands on the ball and we want to see him making breaks and causing problems for Canada.

"It's a great chance for him to go out there and put a marker down."

Holmes is one of eight Dragons players in the matchday squad with starts for debutant Ben Carter next to Will Rowlands in the second row, hooker Elliot Dee and back rowers Aaron Wainwright and Ross Moriarty, with flanker Taine Basham hoping for a first cap off the bench where he is joined by tighthead Leon Brown.

None of the Rodney Parade contingent have been regular Test starters recently – although in Moriarty's case that is down to injury – and they have an opportunity to put heat on their rivals.

South Wales Argus:

"With players away on the Lions, it creates opportunity and it makes boys step up as well and get responsibility and understanding what is needed of them moving forward in their careers," said centre Davies.

"It's a great opportunity, it's exciting, we've got fans in the stadium and we could potentially have five new caps, so that's great for us moving forward, developing a squad and bringing in more competition.

"These opportunities create competition, which then drives standards in training, creates stronger teams and better standards, which is what's going to bring on Welsh rugby."

Carter, 20, and Scarlets wing Tom Rogers, 22, will make their debuts as starters while Basham, Ospreys prop Gareth Thomas and Cardiff fly-half/centre Ben Thomas are set for bows as replacements.

"It is an opportunity for these young guys," said Davies, who made his full Wales debut against Canada in Toronto on the 2009 tour to North America.

"They have played well for their regions, and now it is an opportunity to showcase why they have been selected and why they are good enough to play Test rugby.

"For us as a group, it is keeping on building on the foundations we built during the autumn and through the Six Nations.

"There is always a physicality with Canada, they will be looking to compete at the breakdown and push us as hard as we can. It's making sure we execute all our systems."