The second-row has been impressing for the Welsh region this season

Dragons lock Ben Carter

Date of birth 23 January 2001 Born Crowborough, Sussex Position Lock Region Dragons Country Wales

How did you get involved in rugby? 

I went to Caldicot rugby club with a friend when I was eight or nine.

I was a No 8 when I was younger and moved to second-row when I was 15. You get a bit more space and ball at No 8, but I like that you have a lot of involvements at second-row.

What are your strengths? 

I pride myself on having a good work-rate, the things that don’t require any talent. I enjoy the physical aspect too; I can get better at it but that’s one of the things I enjoy most.

What are you looking to improve? 

My defence of the driving maul. Everything is a step up in senior rugby – players are stronger, more streetwise and you can’t get away with being in wrong positions like you could at age-grade level.

Who was your childhood hero? 

I didn’t have one standout but I liked people like Alun Wyn Jones, Eben Etzebeth, Sam Whitelock. When I was younger, it was No 8s Kieran Read and Taulupe Faletau.

You captained Wales U18. How do you find leadership? 

I might not be the most aggressive leader, get people up for it, but I think I have a quiet calm, keep other players calm and manage the referee well. I enjoy the responsibility.

You made your Dragons debut this season… 

It’s great to test yourself against the best, to find out things to work on as the standards are a lot higher. If you’re playing every week, your recovery has to be really good too.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

Probably my parents. Not with the actual playing side, but they talk a lot of sense. Whether I’ve had a bad game or a good game, they remind me rugby isn’t everything, keep me grounded. They have supported me with everything.

What do you do outside rugby? 

I’m studying international relations at Cardiff University. It’s online this year, but it’s nice to have something else to focus on.

RW Verdict: At 6ft 4in and more than 18st, Carter is a sizeable unit and makes his presence felt – he made 29 tackles for Wales U20 against Italy last year. Enjoyment is his focus this term and Dragons DoR Dean Ryan seems to enjoy picking him.

This article originally appeared in the March 2021 edition of Rugby World magazine.

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