LIONS hooker Ken Owens believes Dragons front rower Elliot Dee will grasp his opportunity if he gets a first Wales start against Italy.

Warren Gatland names his team at midday for Sunday's Six Nations clash in Cardiff and is set to make changes given that title hopes have gone and there is a six-day turnaround to their championship finale with France.

That raises the possibility of Dee wearing 2 on his back for the first time after winning five caps from the bench this season.

The 23-year-old from Newbridge has brought energy and been solid at the set piece as Owens' deputy in the Six Nations clashes with Scotland, England and Ireland.

The experienced Scarlet, who has won 56 caps, has been impressed and would welcome Dee getting a first start on the Test stage.

"It's never your shirt. Elliot has played a lot of rugby for the Dragons this year and has grown, so if he gets an opportunity then I am sure he will take it with both hands," said the 31-year-old.

"We have got some great hookers in Wales and real depth. Elliot is full of energy and is making an impact when he goes on.

"He is growing and learning with every week and it's great for me to working with him. I try to pass on some of my experience but he is keeping me on my toes as well, plus there is Ryan Elias, Scott Baldwin was unfortunate with injury and so was Kristian Dacey.

"There is a great pool of hookers and everybody is pushing each other. That competition is great and the young boys are really putting their hands up, which is outstanding for the World Cup and beyond that."

Forwards coach Robin McBryde said last week that he has been impressed by the Dragons front row forward.

McBryde has long been an admirer of Dee and is pleased by the way he has added energy from the bench.

"He's played his part along with all the other members of the team," said the assistant. "He has made an impact on the game, and that's what you are looking for as a coach.

"Players have a chance to go out onto the field and do well for the team. Elliot has done that and you have to give him his due – he is one whose name will be in the hat."

Meanwhile, Wales have called up Rhodri Jones to provide cover for looseheads Rob Evans and Nicky Smith.

Scarlets prop Wyn Jones suffered a hamstring injury after coming off the bench in Dublin and is set to miss the rest of the season.

That has led to a recall for 15-times capped Jones, who has recently returned to the left-hand side of the scrum with the Ospreys after an experimental move to tighthead. The front row forward last played for Wales as a replacement against Samoa last summer.

Sunday's clash is the second part of a double-header with Wales Women taking on their Italian counterparts at Principality Stadium (kick-off 11.45am).

Rowland Phillips' side are fresh from defeats to England and Ireland but the head coach is relishing the chance to play in the capital in front of a big crowd.

"It's a huge opportunity for us, and it's great that the WRU has given us this chance to play in the best stadium in the world," he said.

"There's an incentive there in the venue alone, but our focus needs to be Italy and getting our game right."

"Women's rugby is growing at a very quick pace in this country. This is an indication of how the WRU is really supporting us, and acknowledging that there's a lot of interest and enthusiasm regarding the women's game."