INTERVIEWS with Rhodri Williams had a familiar theme over recent seasons, one that could have led to him getting a script out of his back pocket.

After interesting responses to Dragons specific questions eventually would come one about Wales.

The scrum-half would give pretty much the same answer that he has since being unveiled as a new signing in Ystrad Mynach in the summer of 2018.

‘It’s every boy’s dream to play for Wales, never give up, concentrate on Dragons form then if anything comes of it that’s great.’

The truth is that it seemed Williams’ Test career was going to be over after three caps, not a reflection on his talent but depth in the position.

Williams, whose last international outing was against Scotland in March 2014, returned to Wales from Bristol to stay in the mix but it looked like he would always be a nearly man, missing out to Rhys Webb, Gareth Davies, Tomos Williams, Lloyd Williams, Aled Davies, Kieran Hardy.

Williams isn’t old but at 28 the feeling was that Wayne Pivac would start looking to the future when it came to his 9s.

Rhodri Williams.

Rhodri Williams.

Yet at just after 11am on Monday the Dragons captain was selected alongside Hardy and Tomos Williams for the Tests against Canada and Argentina… not that he was the first to find out at the Ystrad Mynach training base.

“We were training in a backs unit,” said Williams. “You get emailed 10 minutes before the selection. I walked into the changing room and the forwards were waiting to do their units.

“They just all started clapping, so that was quite a special moment, one that I will remember.”

The surprise made the call-up all the sweeter for Williams, who was at the Scarlets when first capped.

“It's been a long time and there were times when I thought that it had probably gone and passed me by,” he admitted.

“I am just chuffed to be able to put my hand up again, get into camp and have a good go at it. It was a surprise, there were times in recent years when I thought that time was ticking.

"It's something you really want to be involved in and sometimes it's nicer for it to be a surprise rather than wondering if you are going to in and then being let down."

Williams has grown at the Dragons and is a different sort of scrum-half for Pivac to consider, with his experience useful in a prime decision-making position.

But his Wales hopes have also been given a timely push by a man who he could lock horns with at Principality Stadium.

SNIPE: Rhodri Williams goes for a gap in the Dragons clash with Bristol

SNIPE: Rhodri Williams goes for a gap in the Dragons' clash with Bristol

Williams was previously pushed by Tavis Knoyle but the arrival of Argentina scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou has stepped things up a notch.

The Pumas half-back has upped the tempo and pushed the skipper out of his comfort zone, forcing him to up his game whether he has 9 or 21 on his back.

Williams has finished the season with a flourish and reaped the rewards, getting the nod ahead of Webb, Lloyd Williams and the uncapped Dane Blacker.

He said in his first interview as a Dragon that the 60-cap rule had forced him to return to Wales from Bristol so that he wouldn’t ponder what might have been.

“It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen but in 10 or 20 years I didn’t want to regret a decision of staying there. By coming back, it might not work but there is no regret,” he said.

“I wasn’t happy being on three caps – I want more and have to give it a go.

"A few years down the line I might not have another cap and it might not have worked, but at least I will have given it a go, been ambitious and tried it.”

After three seasons of knocking on the door, that decision has finally paid off.