Wales hopefuls face Judgement Day pressure - Elias

Elliot Dee and Ryan Elias  both played in Wales' 40-6 win against Australia in Lyon during the 2023 World Cup

Welsh URC Judgement Day: Scarlets v Dragons

Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Date: Saturday, 1 June Kick off: 15:00 BST

Coverage: Live on S4C & BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio Wales, the BBC Sport website and app.

Highlights: Scrum V Sunday, 2 June BBC Two Wales from 19:00 BST and later on demand.

Scarlets hooker Ryan Elias says Wales' summer hopefuls will feel the pressure at Judgement Day at the Cardiff City Stadium on 1 June.

The Welsh regional double-header next Saturday is a couple of days before Wales head coach Warren Gatland names his squad on 3 June for the Twickenham Test against South Africa on 22 June and the tour of Australia in July.

“Most players would say they feel that pressure because you know the squad is going to be announced a couple of days later,” said Elias.

“You know it’s your last audition to put your best foot forward to be named in the squad."

Elias will go head-to-head with Wales rival Elliot Dee when Scarlets face Dragons in the opening game before Ospreys play Cardiff in the United Rugby Championship (URC) double-header.

Dee is the man currently in possession of the Wales hooking berth, having started the last four Six Nations matches after Elias got the nod for the opener, while Dewi Lake is back fit to add to the competition for the national number two jersey.

“Elliot is a very good friend of mine,” said Elias.

“In camps together, we are kind of drawn to each other. We go through the same things, feel the same sort of pressures and confide in each other. He’s a good mate.

“But we won’t hold any punches when it comes to game time. We enjoy getting stuck into each other.

"It’s that personal sort of battle at scrum time or around the park if we can get a shot at each other.”

Scarlets hooker Ryan Elias and Dragons number eight Aaron Wainwright
Scarlets hooker Ryan Elias and Dragons number eight Aaron Wainwright have played in two World Cups [Huw Evans Agency]

Dragons double bid

Scarlets are 14th in the table with Dragons 15th going into the final round of URC regular league matches, with only Zebre below the Welsh duo.

Scarlets are looking to avenge a Judgement Day defeat by Dragons last season and a loss at Rodney Parade earlier this season.

“It’s also a regional derby, so it’s huge for us," said Elias.

"We came up short in a close game against the Dragons on New Year’s Day which we were really gutted about. So personally I feel we owe them one.

"As a team, we want to finish on a high and go out on the right note. So I am definitely motivated for this last game and will be raring to go.”

Elias, 28, has taken on the Scarlets captaincy with Wales flanker Josh Macleod injured.

“It’s something I have come to enjoy and I feel I have got better at it week on week," said Elias.

“I have grown into it a bit more. I’ve enjoyed this tale end of the season and played some decent stuff."