OLLIE Griffiths didn't wallow when missing out on Wales' autumn squad, nor does the Dragons talisman intend to stop giving Warren Gatland another problem in World Cup year.

The 23-year-old from Newbridge's stunning start to the season had most expecting a call-up for the November Tests against Scotland, Australia, Tonga and South Africa.

Yet head coach Gatland opted to go with just five specialist back row forwards – Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, Ellis Jenkins and his Rodney Parade teammates Ross Moriarty and Aaron Wainwright.

It could not have been down to form – he had outshone his fellow Dragons – but Griffiths didn't let his head drop.

"He probably felt sorry for himself for about 10 minutes," said his boss Bernard Jackman. "Not many men would do that."

Instead Griffiths had pledged to just keep doing what he is doing; rather than being bitter, the dynamic back rower intends to take a leaf out of Josh Navidi's book.

The versatile Cardiff Blues forward, who missed out this autumn through injury, was often overlooked by Gatland & Co but eventually forced his way in through consistently high-quality displays.

Griffiths made his Test debut with a very brief cameo against Tonga in the summer of 2017 and hasn't given up on adding a second cap soon despite not getting the autumn call.

"I was hopeful but at the same time I realise how many good back rowers there are out there – you can pick three or four in each position, so I realised that it was tough," he said.

"Obviously I was disappointed because I would love to have been involved, especially having a taste of it when the Lions were playing and I played against Tonga in Auckland.

"It was disappointing but I just have to keep doing what I am doing; if I train well and play well then hopefully the opportunity will come. It is difficult but you've just got to bide your time and make sure you are ready.

"I respect the decision and the people that did get picked are brilliant players – Ellis, Tipuric, Wainwright, Ross, Lydiate.

"There are so many across Wales, so I understand. I just have to keep building and play well enough to get that opportunity.

"I'd love to be involved in the Six Nations, but you can't start looking too far ahead."

Wales are set to be boosted by the returns of Navidi, Taulupe Faletau and James Davies but a vacancy has arisen courtesy of one of Griffiths' 2017 teammates suffering a cruel blow.

Ellis Jenkins' superb performance in Saturday's win against the Springboks led to him being announced as man of the match at Principality Stadium only to suffer serious knee ligament damage in the final minute.

"I was watching the game and that's just the way rugby goes, he had a great game and I am massively disappointed for him," said Griffiths. "Going from man of the match to being out for the foreseeable future in a split second."

Griffiths knows all about rotten luck after undergoing three operations – ankle, hip and jaw – last season.

He has appeared eight times in the current campaign and made a barnstorming return from a minor groin problem in Sunday's much-needed 18-12 win against Edinburgh.

Griffiths was the man of the match by a distance at Rodney Parade, making telling contributions with ball in hand and in defence.

"Ollie has done exactly what you would tell a young player to do – get your head down and play well," said Jackman, reflecting on his prospect's autumn disappointment.

"I haven't seen a player influence a game as much this year, that's how good he was. He had big moments at big times."

Griffiths was probably the difference between another defeat and a first win in the Guinness PRO14 since September and will need to be at his best again on Saturday versus the champions Leinster in Newport (kick-off 5.15pm).

"It was nice to get the win, there was a bit of pressure on us and we needed it," he said. "It was a bit close for comfort but we managed to squeeze out the win and it felt good.

"We've got a tough run of games, so to get that win gives the boys confidence and hopefully we can kick on for the next month or two.

"Leinster have depth that means they can put their second or third team out and still have quality players. It will be a tough challenge."