DEFENCE coach Shaun Edwards expect all of Wales’ squad to get the chance to impress this autumn – including Dragons new boys Elliot Dee and Leon Brown, writes Chris Kirwan.

Boss Warren Gatland is still mulling over his XV to face Australia in Saturday’s opener with the influential duo of Justin Tipuric and Rhys Webb major doubts.

Flanker Tipuric is struggling with a thigh injury and scrum-half Webb is troubled by a knee problem. Cardiff Blues’ Josh Navidi and the Scarlets’ Gareth Davies are their likely deputies.

Edwards said: “Justin Tipuric is carrying a bit of a knock and so is Rhys Webb. So we are just waiting until the last minute when we name the team on Thursday, to give them as much time as possible and then make an educated decision.

“They will have to take part in training before Thursday to put their hands up for selection. If not, obviously they will look to put their hands up for the week after. It’s a four-game series.”

Gatland has named a 36-strong squad for the autumn featuring four Dragons – hooker Dee, tighthead Leon Brown, lock Cory Hill and full-back/wing Hallam Amos.

It is unlikely that any of the quartet will feature in the starting line-up this weekend barring any injuries in training but bench spots are up for grabs, as are places in the XV to face Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa.

“We are hoping for some players who have maybe been on the periphery before or not involved will come in and stake a claim to be starting in the first game of the Six Nations,” said Edwards.

“It is the biggest time of a four-year cycle when you can bring new players in and take a bit of a risk.

“I remember ‘Gats’ brought Dan Lydiate in at this time of the cycle [in 2009]. He probably wasn’t quite ready but two years later he was outstanding. Hopefully a couple more will do that.”