ELLIOT Dee has signed a three-year Dragons contract just months after injury nightmares had the Wales hopeful fearing for his Rodney Parade future.

The 23-year-old hooker from Newbridge has enjoyed a superb start to the campaign to earn a first call-up to Warren Gatland's squad for the autumn internationals.

And Dee will link up with Wales with a spring in his step after penning a fresh contract to stay in Newport until at least 2020, extending the deal that expired in the summer.

"I am really proud to have signed for three years," said Dee, who has scored five tries this season. "I wouldn't have gone anywhere else because this is the place where I grew up and watched the likes of Rob Sidoli and Tom Willis.

"I wanted to be a Dragon so I am massively proud to have signed for three years and I am really enjoying it.

"I wanted to sign it as soon as I could so that I could just think about playing. I am really happy."

It comes after a 2016/17 in which the front rower was despondent after a horror season in which he endured three ankle operations and one on his nose.

"I was in a bit of a dark place last year and it seemed that everything that could go wrong did go wrong," said Dee, who made his Dragons debut in October, 2013 against Mogliano in the Challenge Cup.

"Nothing was going my way but things have turned around a bit now, I had a good pre-season, worked hard, trained hard and I'm getting the bounce of the ball on the field as well.

"It's not usual for anyone to have three (ankle) operations in a season and I was out of contract in the coming season.

"But things couldn't have gone any better this season really – I've hit a bit of form and I am playing for the club that I love."

But Dee won't be involved for the Dragons at Munster on Friday, instead he will spend his first week in Wales camp.

The hooker has long been on the radar of the international management but will finally get his chance to impress at the Vale Resort.

The livewire front rower intends to train with the same intensity as he plays in a bid to earn a spot in the Tests against Australia, Georgia, New Zealand and Australia.

"I'm really excited about getting in the squad and the challenge ahead, I just want to get in there, work hard and see if I can get on the field," said the hooker, who will battle with Scarlets and Lions ace Ken Owens and Cardiff Blues' Kristian Dacey..

"It was a bit strange, I was in the physio room when the email came in and Bernard said well done on the squad in front of everyone.

"All the boys gave me a cwtch and I was a bit overwhelmed. I didn't know what to say, I was overjoyed.

"I am really excited to get in there, work hard and show what I can do, because I know that nothing will be given to me on a plate.

"A goal of mine was to get in the squad and then when you hit that you want to go one further and get a cap, then if I achieve that it's whatever comes from there. Now it's all about working hard."