ELLIOT Dee is relishing the chance to put the heat on Ken Owens and Ryan Elias after the frustration of losing his hard-earned Wales spot.

The Dragons hooker has been a spectator rather than a participant in the Six Nations after suffering a pair of injuries.

The 26-year-old from Newbridge headed into camp with a rib niggle after a blow in the region's European Challenge Cup win against Enisei-STM.

That ruled him out of the opener against Italy – ending a run of 18 successive Test appearances – and Dee then suffered a calf problem.

He has watched on while Owens has started all four games with Scarlets hooker Ryan Elias coming in as the Lions veteran's back-up.

Dee, who featured against the Barbarians in boss Wayne Pivac's first game in charge, made a return to action in the Dragons' Guinness PRO14 defeat to Benetton at Rodney Parade last Friday.

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"It was great to be out there and get 40 minutes under my belt after a frustrating couple of weeks on the sidelines," he said.

"It wasn't ideal going into camp with a rib injury and then trying my best to keep my fitness up and slightly tearing my calf.

"It's been frustrating picking up two little niggles but it was brilliant to be get out there on Friday night around some familiar faces, back home at Rodney Parade."

Now he aims to put his hand up for selection in Saturday's Six Nations finale against Scotland in Cardiff before the summer tour to New Zealand.

"It was frustrating but it's one of those things. I've trained hard on the outskirts of the squad to try and get fit," said Dee, who has started in six of his 29 caps.

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"Me and Cory Hill have been training together for most of the campaign and he was putting me through my paces in the altitude chamber – we've had a bit of a competition against each other and are both quite competitive.

"It's really frustrating not to be out there with the boys but all that I can do now is try to put my hand up and try to get back to where I was.

"There has been four of us in camp, the three familiar ones over the last two years and then (uncapped Ospreys prospect) Dewi Lake is pushing us.

"Having people on your tail is healthy for the squad and I want to get back in. That will push boys to perform better as well, and that's only good for Wales."

Wales name their team to face Scotland on Thursday.