DRAGONS centre Nick Tompkins is relishing the chance to join forces with Jonathan Davies after switching from 13 to 12 for Wales.

The departure of Hadleigh Parkes to Japan means that Wayne Pivac will field a new partnership in today’s Test against France in Paris.

Tompkins, 25, impressed in the Six Nations while Davies, 32, was recovering from a knee injury and now will have the Lions centre on his outside shoulder.

“I can’t believe it. I have grown up watching Jon which sounds weird now,” said the Saracens man, who is spending this season on loan at Rodney Parade.

“It has been brilliant coming into training with him and getting to know him as much as you can.

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“He is a lovely bloke firstly, a really nice guy which you hope for. I am excited for the game to see what we can do. It’s nice to have that security on the outside at 13 so hopefully it will be good.”

Tompkins made his international debut off the bench against Italy in the Six Nations before winning three starts in the 13 jersey.

He played at inside centre on his second appearance for the Dragons but has played his last three games outside former Wales and Lions centre Jamie Roberts.

"I am looking forward (to playing 12)," said Tompkins. "There are slight differences and I am looking for the nuances that are 12 and getting my hands on the ball at set-piece and things like that.

"Defensively it's different and brings its own challenges and that's going to be fun.

"I have played quite a bit there for Saracens back in the day and that's no problem, but it will be a bit different in the Six Nations."

Tompkins also hopes to prosper after heading to the Dragons with a bigger frame after grafting hard during the coronavirus pandemic.

"I wanted to put on a little bit more weight because I felt in the Six Nations I was a little bit undersized," said Tompkins.

"I was fine fitness wise, but I wanted to be a little bit heavier and I used lockdown as well as I could with the limited equipment I had.

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"I didn't have a gym so used a lot of free weights. I was a bit on the heavy side coming in, so I'm trying to slim down a bit to a good playing weight, but it's difficult when you are not playing.

"I wasn't shocked by the physicality because you kind of expect it and I've been fortunate enough to play in some Champions Cup games at that level.

"I know what it's about, but wanted to get a bit bigger for longevity and maybe in a couple of collisions I wanted to make sure I've got that extra bulk."

Tompkins is joined in the Wales side by Dragons flanker Aaron Wainwright, who starts in the back row in the absence of injured Rodney Parade teammate Ross Moriarty.

He suffered an ankle blow in training and will target a return in the Autumn Nations Cup fixture against Ireland on November 13.