DRAGONS back rower Aaron Wainwright hopes that top tips from Lions great Sam Warburton can turn him into a major jackal threat.

The 22-year-old from Bassaleg will line up at number eight for Wales in today's uncapped international fixture against the Barbarians at Principality Stadium (kick-off 2.45pm).

Wainwright has established himself on the Test scene since winning his debut against Argentina in the summer of 2018.

The forward has won 18 caps and was one of the stars of the World Cup with his energy and power around the park.

However, Wainwright has frequently cited the breakdown as an area for improvement and will now get to work closely with one of the best.

New Wales boss Wayne Pivac has brought in Warburton – who won 74 Wales caps and five for the Lions, who he captained to glory in Australia and a draw in New Zealand – as a breakdown/defence coach.

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"Having Sam here is going to help me massively for my personal development," said Wainwright. "He's a massive Welsh star.

"Jackaling is something that I am looking to work on and strengthen in my game so anything I can take away from Sam will be brilliant.

"I will be looking to do drills with him to improve at the contact area, and he did come in before the World Cup to do a little bit with me to pinpoint a few things and try and help."

Wainwright has been one of eight Dragons in the squad for the Barbarians game and has been joined by fellow back row forwards Ross Moriarty, Ollie Griffiths and Taine Basham.

Moriarty, who played in all seven World Cup games, sits out today's game and 20-year-old Basham was brought in to experience life in the Wales camp but Griffiths is set to make an impact off the bench in his first international outing since winning his solitary cap against Tonga two years ago.

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"We have seen what Ollie can do with the Dragons – he is an awesome and powerful player," said Wainwright. "Hopefully he will get a chance to show that today.

"Taine enjoyed it and was very bubbly. He looked to learn as much as he could, and I think he has looked up to a lot of people in the squad so has learnt from them.

"The more boys from the Dragons that we can get in the squad the better it is for the region when we go back."

Wainwright starts with Griffiths joined on the bench by Rodney Parade teammates Elliot Dee, Leon Brown and Sam Davies.

They will be aiming to make an impression ahead of the Six Nations, when the post-Gatland era really begins.

"This week has been hugely exciting and hugely important for us as a group," said Pivac.

"It has been an opportunity for us as a new squad and management to get together and to set the scene for what the future holds.

"There has been quite a lot of learning for the squad this week, looking at what we are trying to do and us providing some clarity, but we have also stressed the enjoyment factor of being together for the first time and the excitement of not only this weekend but the future."

Wales: L Halfpenny (Scarlets), J McNicholl (Scarlets), O Watkin (Ospreys), H Parkes (Scarlets), J Adams (Cardiff Blues), J Evans (Cardiff Blues), T Williams (Cardiff Blues), W Jones (Scarlets), K Owens (Scarlets), D Lewis (Cardiff Blues), J Ball (Scarlets), A Beard (Ospreys), A Shingler (Scarlets), J Tipuric (captain, Ospreys), A Wainwright (Dragons).

Replacements: E Dee (Dragons), R Evans (Scarlets), L Brown (Dragons), S Davies (Cardiff Blues), O Griffiths (Dragons), G Davies (Scarlets), S Davies (Dragons), O Lane (Cardiff Blues).

Barbarians: S Stevenson, D Leyds, M Bastareaud, A Esterhuizen, C Hendricks, C Bosch, B Hall, C Ma’afu, R Best (captain), W Herbst, L Jones, T Ardron, P Samu, M van Staden, J Strauss.

Replacements: S Brits, C Miller, H van Wyk, G Biagi, A Cottrell, J Vermaak, B Meakes, M Duffie.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)