DRAGONS speedster Ashton Hewitt has been challenged to make things happen by coming off his wing for 15 touches when he makes his Wales bow this summer, writes Chris Kirwan.

The 23-year-old from Newport is set to win his first cap after head coach Warren Gatland vowed to use his 30-strong entire touring party in the June encounters with South Africa in Washington and Argentina in San Juan and Santa Fe.

Hewitt earned his first Wales call-up for the 2017 Six Nations thanks to some livewire performances only to be forced to withdraw before the tournament because of a concussion.

But with Lions aces Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny rested, Josh Adams unavailable and Alex Cuthbert putting his Test career on hold with a move to Exeter, the rapid Dragons wing has a chance to impress this summer.

With his back three rivals Steff Evans and Tom Prydie only able to start preparations in the USA because of the Scarlets' PRO14 final, Hewitt could well feature against the Springboks with Hallam Amos likely to start at full-back and George North the other option out wide.

"Ashton has put himself in the mix for the first game," said attack coach Howley, who was holding the reins for Lions boss Gatland when Hewitt was called up last year.

"He is quick and I was really pleased with his communication in the outside channels in training. He is full of enthusiasm and confidence, as you'd expect him to be, and he offers a little bit of difference in terms of the amount of pace that he has.

"The challenge now for Ashton now is getting the ball in hands as often as possible. We want 15 touches from him and that's the next level up now.

"We want the best players getting the ball in their hands as often as they can. That's his challenge for the next three weeks because he will get the opportunity."

The management are dangling the carrot of World Cup places for the likes of Hewitt and fellow uncapped Dragon Aaron Wainwright, who only made his professional debut in October.

They are outsiders given that a raft of British and Irish Lions tourists have been left at home this summer, but Howley has urged those that take to the field in America and Argentina to make an impression.

"There has to be [a good] performance to come into World Cup selection. There will be around 41 players who have played for us over the last 18 months that will be in the frame," said Howley.

"Warren spoke to the players on Tuesday and for someone like Aaron Wainwright, what a great opportunity. In his first meeting he listened to the coach saying that he had a chance of making World Cup 2019, you don't need any more motivation than that.

"The players have been told that there is a great opportunity over the next three weeks and I am sure they will take it with both hands."

"Whoever is selected, you are 12 months away from the best competition in the world.

"You want to give everything possible and the players who get the first opportunity in the national jersey against South Africa, they have got a chance of getting to the World Cup."