DRAGONS prop Leon Brown has gone back to basics after his World Cup disappointment to prove his critics wrong and earn a reputation as a destructive scrummager.

The 22-year-old from Maesglas was in Wales' training squad for Japan and won his sixth cap in the warm-up Test against Ireland.

It didn't go to plan with Brown sent to the sin bin shortly after coming onto the field after referee Romain Poite deemed he was guilty of scrum offences.

That meant the Dragons front rower wasn't surprised when he didn't make the final cut for the World Cup, with Warren Gatland taking specialist tightheads Tomas Francis and Dillon Lewis with loosehead Wyn Jones providing cover.

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"Having 40 minutes to impress and then getting a yellow card meant I was expecting it," said Brown, who won his first cap in November, 2017.

"It wasn't great on the Sunday when I found out but I had a week off, got my head around it and came back to the Dragons. I haven't thought about it since.

"'Franny' and 'Dills' have both been on fire for the last season and Wyn will be capable if needed to go across, so there are no hard feelings. I've been watching them and wish them all the best."

Brown hasn't let his head drop since returning to regional duty and his display in the first two games of the Guinness PRO14 have prompted his new boss Dean Ryan to question Gatland's wisdom.

"He has been incredible," said the director of rugby. "Coaching tighthead props can sometimes be quite difficult; they are quite closed in terms of what they know but Leon has been incredibly open about how he can get better.

"I'll be honest, I think there has been an error made in not taking him – he has been outstanding for us."

Brown is a big presence around the park with strong ball-carrying and big hits but the tighthead knows that he has to keep developing in the tight.

That will come with game time – he has played just 30 times for the Dragons – and through his openness to work with forwards coach, former Wales prop Ceri Jones.

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"If I can get out there every week, happy days. I want to keep plugging on and I doubt you will find a 22-year-old who is a seasoned prop or scrummager," said Brown.

"Some people question my scrummaging a lot but all I can do is keep playing and keep getting better.

"People have their opinions but don't offer any help… maybe those who write about it can give me some tips! You've got to take criticism and there is no bigger critic than myself, I will just get on with it.

"Since I have come back here we have broken my scrummaging down to see what I can do to make it better, and the whole scrum better.

"We've been working hard on it for two weeks and now it's just about getting out there and practicing what I have been doing.

"I've been working with Ceri on staying square, working on different angles and my profile. Everyone has been working hard, there will be times when we come under pressure but as long as we have a steady foundation we will go alright."

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Brown has had some struggles on the international stage in the set piece that have led to him being given a reputation – one that the Dragons believe is unfair – as a strong runner, weak scrummager.

The prop wants to change that perception and fulfil Ryan's belief that he can be a scrum "weapon".

"I have to be open after making mistakes and things going wrong," he said. "Nobody wants a tighthead in their team who can't scrum and is giving away penalties all the time. I owe that to the people I play with, and myself.

"I am very competitive and I don't like someone to have one up on me. I definitely want to be known as a strong scrummager."