DRAGONS prospect Max Williams has been tipped to use the experience of life alongside Wales co-captain Cory Hill to be a leader at the World Rugby U20 Championship.

The 20-year-old lock/blindside from Newport made his debut for the Rodney Parade region against Champions Cup finalists Leinster on the opening day of the season and went on to notch seven more appearances.

Athletic Williams was also a key figure in the second row for Wales in the Under-20s Six Nations, playing in four of five games, and is currently preparing to lock horns with the best young talent in the world.

And head coach Geraint Lewis expects the Dragon to be a loud voice when the tournament gets under way in France at the end of the month.

"Part of Max's development is to become a leader, especially in the under-20s environment," said the former flanker, who won 16 Wales caps.

""He has had some good experiences with the Dragons, learning off quality people like Cory Hill.

"You can see him getting more and more confident as time goes on and he certainly has the intelligence and smartness to be a good lineout leader.

"This will be a good test for him – he can measure himself on the world stage against his peers and see how he stacks up. It will be a big tournament for Max both on and off the field."

Wales open up against Australia in Beziers on Wednesday, May 30 and are at the same venue for the clash with New Zealand on Sunday, June 3.

They round off the group stages with a clash against Japan in Perpignan on Thursday, June 7 before the semi-finals and placings play-offs.

Williams is one of an eight-strong Dragons contingent with back row forwards Taine Basham, Lennon Greggains and Ben Fry, tighthead Chris Coleman, loosehead Josh Reynolds and wingers Rio Dyer and Joe Goodchild joining him.

Scrum-half Dan Babos and hooker Will Griffiths, both 18, miss out after featuring in the Six Nations, although both are young enough to feature in future tournaments.

The former is given time off for exams and to have a good pre-season after playing 13 times for the Dragons while the latter cannot play because he was born in 2000 and is too young to be a front-rower at the Championship.

Seven of the Dragons that get the nod from Lewis have experienced professional rugby this season with Fry, who did not play in the Six Nations, the odd one out.

The 19-year-old from Radyr came through the ranks at Cardiff Blues before going to Hartpury College then joining the Dragons last autumn.

"Ben came with us to South Africa with Wales Under-18s last year but has had injuries this season," said Lewis.

"He has come back and worked hard on areas where we felt that he to. He has an appetite and a desire to take the opportunity and thoroughly deserves this spot.

"Ben is a high-impact player and will be looking to make his mark in France. He is different to the others, he is strong in the collision, has an edge, physicality and is up-front in his approach."