WING Ashton Hewitt won’t play again in 2021 after rupturing knee ligaments while scoring for the Dragons.

The Wales hopeful was continuing his push for a summer cap when he scored a double against Northampton in the European Challenge Cup on Saturday.

However, the second try came at a cost with Hewitt twisting his left leg awkwardly while reaching for the line under pressure from two defenders.

The 26-year-old came off immediately and left Rodney Parade with his knee in a brace.

Scans have revealed that he ruptured both his anterior cruciate ligament and his medial collateral ligament. Recovery can generally take between eight and 12 months.

Dragons director of rugby Dean Ryan said: “It’s incredibly disappointing news for Ashton who was playing some outstanding rugby for us.

“He will now undergo surgery early next week before starting his journey back from this injury. We all send our best wishes to Ashton and wish him well with his recovery.”

It is more cruel luck for a player who has been on the brink of a cap for a number of years.

Wales have plenty of options out wide but Hewitt put himself in the mix with a superb season in which he led the PRO14 for defenders beaten – with clear daylight to the man in second – and was second for clean breaks.

The speedster was looking likely to enjoy summer international action but instead has suffered more frustration.

He was forced to withdraw from the 2017 Six Nations squad because of a concussion then suffered a dislocated right shoulder in the days before the 2018 tour to play South Africa and Argentina. Warren Gatland has guaranteed all members of the travelling party some action.

Hewitt was called up by Wayne Pivac for the uncapped fixture against the Barbarians in 2019, when he was a reserve at Principality Stadium, and was invited to training for the 2020 Six Nations.

The Dragons start their Rainbow Cup campaign at the Scarlets on the weekend of April 23 with Rio Dyer, Jared Rosser and Owen Jenkins the contenders to slot in out wide.