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20-year-old Wales new boy plays down Alun Wyn Jones comparisons

By PA

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Wales new boy Ben Carter has played down comparisons with Alun Wyn Jones and revealed why a potential international debut this summer would be extra special.

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The Dragons lock is one of six uncapped players in Wayne Pivac’s squad for the Tests against Canada and Argentina next month.

Carter only made his debut for the region in November but has made a big impression and was talked up as a long-term replacement for British and Irish Lions captain Jones by the Wales head coach earlier this month when the 34-man group was announced.

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“Yeah, it is a really nice thing to hear and a nice thing to say because we all know what sort of player Alun Wyn is,” the 20-year-old said.

“He is one of the best but I am just in the camp giving it a good crack and doing my own thing here.”

Pivac did not tone down his praise of the Dragons forward when he addressed the media from a training camp in north Wales this week.

It points towards Carter making his debut this summer, potentially in the Test against Canada on July 3 at the Principality Stadium, which will have 8,200 supporters in attendance.

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After making his Dragons bow in the behind-closed-doors era, the second row has not played a senior match in front of a crowd while his family have not had the chance to watch him live since the coronavirus pandemic started.

Carter added: “It would be amazing to play in front of fans. I was lucky enough to play in the Principality Stadium for the Dragons.

“We had three games there so that was really exciting and I was just in awe of the stadium let alone if there were fans in there.

“Also I am looking forward, should I get the chance, to my family being there to watch because they rarely miss a game.

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“I don’t think my dad ever missed a game but he hasn’t been able to see me play for the Dragons yet so that would be really nice.”

Forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys is one of those to have taken Carter under his wing and Pivac revealed the youngster had been given extra line-out responsibilities in training.

Given his lack of experience, it was another doff of the cap to the Wales Under-20 giant but he paid tribute to fellow locks Adam Beard and Matthew Screech for their guidance.

“It is nice to be trusted in that role. I am still learning it and I have a lot of good people around me,” Carter insisted.

“Beardy has been brilliant helping me out with that. It’s also good with Screechy there because he has helped me so much at Dragons so I can talk to him around that. I feel privileged I have been trusted in the role and I do enjoy it.

“I have had quite a lot of talks with Jon Humphreys, the forwards coach. He has been really good and spots a lot of little things to do with line-outs which is really detailed.

“That’s really helpful so he has already picked up on a lot of things I can be improving on and that is great for me because I want to soak up as much as I can on this camp and learn as much before I take it back to Dragons.”

Before Carter switches his focus back to life at Rodney Parade, he has the small matter of Canada’s visit and a double-header with Argentina in Cardiff to worry about.

Asked if he had envisaged singing the national anthem this summer, the lock admitted: “I haven’t had time to because it has been so intense and we’ve been so tired.

“I mean that is the driver for the whole thing and when it does get tough, you think about that so I am really excited. Should I get the opportunity, it would be amazing.”

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20-year-old Wales new boy plays down Alun Wyn Jones comparisons

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