FORMER Dragons favourite Hugh Gustafson has been tipped to get Wales Women firing up front with his no-nonsense approach after joining as forwards coach, writes Chris Kirwan.

Head coach Rowland Phillips appointed the 31-year-old ahead of the autumn series, which starts against South Africa at Cardiff Arms Park tomorrow morning (kick-off 11.30am).

Gustafson arrived at the Dragons from the Scarlets in 2007 and was a hugely popular figure when making 151 appearances for the region, mostly at loosehead prop before he converted to hooker.

The west Walian was an influential leader in the squad and also helped in the development of future stars when coaching age-grade teams.

Gustafson left for the Ospreys in 2016 and combined his playing role with that of academy skills coach at the Liberty Stadium, forwards coach at Swansea RFC and head coach at Swansea University.

His exploits caught the eye of Phillips, who has retained the services of ex-Dragons wing/full-back Gareth Wyatt as backs coach.

"We needed to bring in another forwards coach and Hugh was someone that I was keen to get," said Phillips, who has retained the services of ex-Dragons wing Gareth Wyatt to look after the backs.

"We'd heard some good stuff, he was coaching in the Premiership and was coaching the Ospreys Women, so is certainly a coach on the way up and respected.

"He is no-nonsense, which is what you want as a forwards coach. He is really clear on his detail and what we like is that he knows what he wants, he knows what we need and he is going to make sure we deliver."

Wales Hong Kong next Friday and finish their series by entertaining Canada on Saturday, November 24.

There is a four-strong Dragons contingent for the opener - loosehead Caryl Thomas and back row forward Bethan Lewis start and prop Cerys Hale and back Alicia McComish are on the bench.

Wales Women: Lauren Smyth (Ospreys); Jasmine Joyce (Scarlets), Alecs Donnovan (Ospreys), Kerin Lake (Ospreys), Jess Kavanagh (RGC); Robyn Wilkins (Blues), Keira Bevan (Ospreys); Caryl Thomas (Dragons), Carys Phillips (captain, Ospreys), Amy Evans (Ospreys), Siwan Lillicrap (Ospreys), Mel Clay (Ospreys), Alisha Butchers (Scarlets), Bethan Lewis (Dragons), Sioned Harries (Scarlets). Reps: Kelsey Jones (Ospreys), Cara Hope (Ospreys), Cerys Hale (Dragons), Natalia John (Ospreys), Manon Johnes (Blues), Ffion Lewis (Scarlets), Alicia McComish (Dragons), Lisa Neumann (RGC)