WALES Under-20s hooker Will Griffiths is staying at Rodney Parade after signing for Newport RFC after being released by the Dragons.

The 20-year-old was cut by the region this summer but has been backed by the Black and Ambers to bounce back to professional rugby.

Griffiths, who played for the Dragons A in their friendly win against Hong Kong in 2018, was a regular for Wales in age-grade rugby and backed up captain Dewi Lake at last year's World Rugby U20 Championship when the youngsters stunned New Zealand.

The hooker, who is 5ft 9ins and 15st 10lbs, featured for Ebbw Vale in the Premiership last season but will now wear black and amber when the green light is given for the club game to resume.

"We had the pleasure of coaching Will last season for a short time," said head coach Ty Morris, who has Henry Palmer, Matt Dwyer and Jamie Jeune as other options for the 2 jersey.

"When we had a few injuries upfront, we were fortunate that the Dragons were able to give Will an opportunity to train with us before his Wales Under-20s Six Nations campaign.

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"Even in those short sessions we could see that Will has a big future. What he lacked in height he gained in aggression and power.

"He's a very physical, no-nonsense player, and so we didn't hesitate when we saw the opportunity to be able to bring Will into our squad for this season.

"With his hungry appetite to succeed as a pro and with youth on his side we are hoping to see a big development in his game this season."

The Dragons will no doubt be watching his progress closely given that they opted to go down to three specialist senior hookers in Elliot Dee, who will be away with Wales for large chunks of the season, Richard Hibbard and Ellis Shipp.

Prop Greg Bateman, who has signed from Leicester, has previously played in the middle of the front row while Brodie Coghlan is with the academy and impressed with Newport last season.

Griffiths can seek inspiration from a Black and Ambers great - Andrew Coombs was released by the Dragons but his performances in Newport's back row earned another chance and then 10 Wales caps.