DRAGONS back rower Taine Basham is chasing the ultimate goal of a Wales cap after being "gutted" to miss out in the Six Nations.

The 20-year-old from Talywain had a remarkable 2019/20 in which he scored eight tries in 17 games, including a stunning hat-trick against Castres in the European Challenge Cup in front of the national coaches.

His exploits led to a call-up for the November fixture against the Barbarians and in February he was added by Wayne Pivac to his Six Nations squad.

Wales are blessed with back row options – Ross Moriarty, Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau, Josh Navidi and Aaron Shingler were given game time in the championship – but Basham was disappointed to miss out on making his Test bow.

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"I started the season wanting to get in the Dragons back row and towards the end was gutted not to get a first Wales cap. That is my ultimate goal now," said Basham, who has featured at openside and number eight.

"I got called up for the Barbarians game and that probably came as a shock to people.

"I could have been daunting going in, but I obviously knew the Dragons boys and regional players from the derby games.

"I wasn't nervous, just keen to show what I could so.

"It was the same when I was called in to the Six Nations squad. It was all about being part of the set-up and learning.

"The summer tour was a big target for me and that first game with Japan."

The clash with the Brave Blossoms and two-Test series with New Zealand have been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

That could lead to Wales having a hectic 2020/21 with Basham keen to push his way up Pivac's pecking order.

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The aim is reliant on continuing to impress for the Dragons after the back rower was named in Opta's top eight opensides in the major leagues and club competitions since the start of 2019.

He also featured on plenty of the PRO14's leaderboards – 12th for tries (5), 16th for carries (93), 30th for metres gained (328), fifth for tackles made (157) and fifth for turnovers won (9).

READ MORE: Basham has the talent to become a Test star - Wales coach

Basham had a strong season to help the Rodney Parade region make encouraging strides under new director of rugby Dean Ryan.

"It's only year one with Dean and we're developing. We have enjoyed some success, won two out of three festive derbies and qualified for a European quarter-final too," said Basham.

"The big thing has been able to go to difficult places like Enisei-STM in Russia and win without the international lads.

"Getting more depth in our squad (is the aim). We've built a good base, but know it's nothing more than that at the moment.

"It's great to see the academy lads I've come through the system with getting a chance too - look back at the Benetton game and the impact Josh Reynolds made.

"He was fantastic that day. Everyone talks about his break and I don't think he has moved that fast since he raced downstairs for his mum's cooking!"