The 20-year-old became a first-team regular in the back row at Rodney Parade despite the wealth of talent at the region and when lockdown came he was right up there with the leading try scoring forwards in Europe with eight – including a stunning hat-trick against Castres Olympique.
“I started the season wanting to get in the Dragons back row and towards the end was gutted not to get a first Wales cap. That is my ultimate goal now,” Basham told the South Wales Argus.
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“It was probably a shock to people when I got called-up for the Barbarians game. It could have been daunting going in, but I obviously knew the Dragons boys and regional players from the derby games.
“I wasn’t nervous, just keen to show what I could so. It was the same when I was called in to the Six Nations squad.
“It was all about being part of the set-up and learning. The summer tour was a big target for me, especially that first game with Japan.”
Basham has three international back row men to battle with at the Dragons – Ross Moriarty, Aaron Wainwright and Ollie Griffiths – as well as his now fit-again former Wales U20 team mate Lennon Greggains. Another former U20 star, Harrison Keddie is also very much in the mix in the most competitive area in the regional squad.
“We’ve enjoyed some success at the Dragons in dean’s first year, winning two out of three festive derbies and qualifying for a European quarter-final,” added Basham.
“The big thing has been able to go to difficult places like Enisei-STM in Russia and win without the international lads. We’ve built a good base, but we know it’s nothing more than that at the moment.
“It’s great to see the Academy lads I’ve come through the system with getting a chance. Just look back at the Benetton game and see the impact Josh Reynolds made – he was fantastic that day.”