DRAGONS wing Ashton Hewitt hopes playing a starring role against the Ospreys on New Year’s Eve can earn another shot with Wales a year after the speedster paid the price for keeping quiet about a concussion.

The 23-year-old from Newport was called up for the Six Nations last January thanks to some livewire performances on the flank for the Rodney Parade region.

However, Hewitt never got to press his claims for a first cap because of a concussion suffered against the Ospreys on New Year’s Day.

The blow to the head would not only deny the speedster the chance to impress the Wales management but it ended his season.

It was an experience that ensured Hewitt learned the hard way about being sensible with concussion.

“I had a bit of a knock but didn’t really think anything of it and I probably didn’t notify who I should have about it,” admitted the winger.

“Being such an important time of the season I didn’t want anything to hold me back.

"Unfortunately with head injuries you don’t know when you are going to be right and that period when I thought I’d be okay and I kept my mouth shut was the wrong move.

“I paid the price for it, really. I’ve learnt my lesson from it and there have been no thoughts of it (concussion) in the season so far.

“It was a horrible feeling not knowing when I’d be back and missing my opportunity with Wales. Hopefully things go differently this year.”

Hewitt joined up with the Test squad in the hope of getting the green light to play but was never able to play a full part in training. He was released back to the Dragons after the round one clash with Italy.

“It was a bit of a surprise to get called up, because they’d been made aware that I had a head injury, but nobody really knows how long it will take,” said Hewitt.

“They named me in the squad anyway and I was there for three weeks before being released. I was gutted but it can’t be dwelled on.

“It was a hard one of having been selected but at times you’d rather not been there, especially with it being my first involvement. I went there and didn’t show my potential in any way or contribute in any way.”

The concussion means that there is no chance of Hewitt repeating his mistake from the first game of 2017 of keeping quiet.

“You don’t know what it is like until you get one,” said Hewitt. “It’s quite frightening, the effects that it does have on you when it gets to the bad stages.

“You don’t feel yourself at all and everyone around you knows that personality-wise. As well as the headaches you feel drained of energy and not motivated to do much.

“It does really start to bring you down and it’s hard to find the positive in things. It’s definitely more important to be sensible.”

Hewitt will be one of the Dragons’ prime attacking weapons as they seek a first PRO14 derby win in three years, especially as Wales wing/full-back Hallam Amos is set to miss the Ospreys clash after limping off against Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day.

Bernard Jackman’s squad is already stretched by a raft of injuries and it will be tested by a hectic schedule that also features a trip to face the champions in Llanelli next Friday.

“It’s difficult because we have the Scarlets in the same window. It’s a short turnaround but this is when the boys have to make their sacrifices and switch on in terms of recovery and prep,” said Hewitt.

“Everybody is in the right state of mind; they are massive games, everyone is watching so nobody wants to leave any room for error.”

And it’s shining in PRO14 action that holds the key to Hewitt getting that second crack with Wales and the chance to join Cory Hill, Amos, Elliot Dee and Leon Brown.

“It’s great to see the boys from the Dragons doing so well and one of the aims of the club is to get as many international players as possible,” he said.

“As I’ve said in the past, I don’t really think too much towards the national squad. I just want to do a job for the Dragons and if that goes the right way then fingers crossed I do get that call-up. If not, I’ll get my head down and work towards it.

“They have exposed Steff Evans and he has had a run of games for Wales, so that gives wingers like me confidence that there is that opportunity and chance.

“If they need a wing then I will make sure I am in the best condition I can be in when the call is made.”