Forwards Coach Luke Narraway has praised the impact of lock Ben Carter – admitting the Dragons Academy graduate has slotted in seamlessly to senior rugby.
Wales Under-20s international Carter has enjoyed a sensational few months at Dragons.
The 19-year-old made his first start in the Guinness PRO14 victory at Glasgow Warriors at the start of December and has gone from strength to strength.
The Newport-born forward has also featured heavily in the Heineken Champions Cup campaign and Narraway has been delighted with his eye-catching progress.
“He’s done amazingly really - he’s 19 and hasn’t even turned 20 yet,” he said.
“It’s a difficult position for a 19-year-old for sure. I think things have probably changed since I came through, but forwards don’t usually come through till they are 23-years-old or around that age.
“What he has got is an amazing work ethic. Ben obviously has talent, but his will to learn, to grow and get better has been unrivalled.
“That’s what really pleases me to be honest, he comes in and gives his all and doesn’t leave any stone unturned in terms of analysis, in terms of speaking to each coach in defence, scrum, line out, attack and to get better.
“He has been very, very good to work with, and I am just happy that the work he’s put in he’s had the opportunity to show that to everyone else on the pitch.”
Narraway first saw Carter in action last season in the Celtic Cup and admits he does not now look out of place in the Guinness PRO14 and top tier of European rugby.
He said: “To be fair to the lad, he was injured when I first came in, but I heard a lot about him and I got to see him play in one game in the Celtic Cup.
“That game was Leinster away, which wasn’t a great result, but what he did against Leinster away in the Celtic Cup what he’s doing in the PRO14.
“When we spoke about him at the start of the year we obviously knew we had a good player there,” he added.
“But you start to think he’s only 19 and we have to careful because it is a big physical jump from Under-18s and Under-20s rugby to PRO14.
“He’s taken to it like a duck to water. There are things he obviously needs to work on and that will come with time, but he hasn’t really put a foot out of place and he definitely doesn’t look like he doesn’t belong here.
“As a coaching staff as a whole we have been very impressed with him.”
What he has got is an amazing work ethic... Ben obviously has talent, but his will to learn, to grow and get better has been unrivalled...