ELLIOT Dee sits out the Test against the All Blacks but Wales starter Ken Owens admits the in-form Dragons hooker is keeping him on his toes.

The 23-year-old from Newbridge won his first cap in the 13-6 win against Georgia last weekend, coming off the bench to help withstand a late charge at Principality Stadium.

Dee misses out against New Zealand after Warren Gatland opted to recall Lions forward Ken Owens with Kristian Dacey in reserve.

However, the Dragons man’s strong start to the season has impressed the experienced Scarlets forward, who isn’t taking the 2 jersey for granted.

“Elliot has had an outstanding season so far and deserved his call-up to the squad, he works hard and is an honest player and a great bloke,” said Owens, who makes his 52nd appearance for Wales.

“It was great to see him win his first cap last week and I thought that he played really well when he came on, especially under the pressure and how the Georgians were going.

“From a hooking point of view things are really strong at the moment with good competition for places, the young talent coming through is great with Elliot coming through and Ryan Elias at the Scarlets. Elliot has fitted in really well and is looking sharp.”

Owens is among an exclusive club of Wales internationals to have beaten the All Blacks, albeit while on British and Irish Lions duty in Wellington earlier this year.

He was on the bench when the Lions claimed a stunning 24-21 second Test victory over New Zealand five months ago, and said: “It was matching them physically, having that intensity and not switching off for any period of time against them.

“That’s when they are at their best. When you think you can have a rest, that’s when they tend to go up a level.

“In that second Test, especially, the boys brought massive intensity, especially in defence, didn’t switch off at all and took the opportunities when they came.

“The biggest thing we saw over the three Tests is how you have got to put them under pressure - stay in the fight, win collisions, have line speed and be alive for 80 minutes. Expect the unexpected from them, front up physically and bring a lot of line speed in defence.”