TEENAGE lock Ben Carter is "leaving no stone unturned" in his quest to build on a remarkable start to his Dragons career, says coach Luke Narraway.

The 19-year-old from Caldicot has featured in five fixtures this season, making his debut as a replacement against Munster in November and then making a first professional start against Glasgow at Scotstoun Stadium.

Carter, who turns 20 next month, partnered Joe Maksymiw up against Wasps' international duo of Will Rowlands and Joe Launchbury in the Champions Cup and then faced Bordeaux-Begles' hefty pack in France.

The teenager enjoyed his first Welsh derby against Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day and is set to face the Scarlets on New Year's Day.

Carter has impressed on the field thanks to his approach at the Ystrad Mynach training base according to Narraway, who made his own rapid rise after making his debut in the Gloucester back row as a 19-year-old in 2003.

South Wales Argus: IMPRESSIVE: Teenage lock Ben Carter has made a huge impact with the DragonsIMPRESSIVE: Teenage lock Ben Carter has made a huge impact with the Dragons

"Lock is a difficult position for a 19-year-old, that's for sure," said the forwards coach. "Things have changed from my day but forwards don't usually come through until they are around 23.

"What Ben has got is an amazing work ethic. He obviously has talent but his will to learn, grow and get better has been unrivalled.

"That's what really pleases me, he comes into training and gives his all. He is leaving no stone unturned in terms of analysis or speaking to each coach – defence, scrum, lineout, attack – to get better."

The Dragons hierarchy have long been excited about Carter, who captained the region's Under-18s to WRU Regional Age-Grade Championship glory in 2019.

However, the coaches are still pleasantly surprised at his performances against experienced campaigners.

South Wales Argus: PROSPECT: Dragons lock Ben Carter in action for Wales Under-20s (Picture courtesy of WRU)PROSPECT: Dragons lock Ben Carter in action for Wales Under-20s (Picture courtesy of WRU)

"When we spoke about him at the start of the year we knew that we had a good player on our hands but you think about being careful because he is only 19," said Narraway.

"It is a big physical jump from under-18s and under-18s rugby to the PRO14 but he has taken to it like a duck to water.

"Yes, there are things that he needs to work on but he hasn't put a foot wrong and has looked like he belongs here. As a coaching group we are really impressed with him."

Carter and Matthew Screech were the only fit specialist locks for the Boxing Day derby against Cardiff Blues with back rower Lewis Evans providing cover from the bench.

The Dragons name their team for tomorrow's derby with the Scarlets at midday with Maksymiw aiming to be in the mix after a head injury in Bordeaux.

Wales centre Nick Tompkins is available after missing the 13-12 loss to the Blues on compassionate grounds but half-backs Rhodri Williams (isolation) and Sam Davies (calf) will miss out.

l The Dragons will take on Connacht and Edinburgh at Rodney Parade in February.

Dean Ryan's side were meant to host the duo last month but the fixtures were postponed because of a coronavirus outbreak.

The Dragons will face Connacht on Friday, February 5 (kick-off 7.35pm), two days before Wales' Six Nations opener against Ireland in Cardiff and the night before Newport County AFC host Grimsby Town in League Two.

Edinburgh visit on Friday, February 12 (kick-off 7.35pm), the day before Scotland versus Wales at Murrayfield.