9:02am Tuesday 3rd September 2013
By Chris Kirwan
DRAGONS Academy flanker Scott Matthews has been tipped to have a stellar season after being likened to Heineken Cup winner Steffon Armitage.
The 19-year-old was instrumental in Cross Keys' 39-17 British and Irish Cup play-off win against Newport last weekend.
Strong at the breakdown but also influential with ball in hand, Matthews has already caught the eye of regional bosses.
Director of rugby Lyn Jones gave him a first taste of senior Dragons action in the 22-20 pre-season friendly success against Bath at Rodney Parade.
And his Keys bosses also believe he will successfully fill the void left by captain Rob Nash's departure to Coventry.
"Scotty is built like Steffon Armitage – he's a brick," said head coach Greg Woods, referring to the stocky England and Toulon openside.
"I don't just like a defensive seven, I like them to be attacking and carry ball.
"He has both parts to his game because his leg chops are outstanding and in the last 20 minutes against Newport he was outstanding and gave us real go-forward.
"We've lost Rob Nash as a captain and leader but Scotty can push on and be better than Nashy, he's a hell of a player.
"He fits in brilliantly and we've got plenty of back row options with Scotty, Reuben Tucker, Adam Powell, Rhys Peebles and Tom Lampard."
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