GRAFTER Joe Davies is looking to ensure there is a Caldicot takeover in the Dragons’ boilerhouse after the rapid rise of Ben Carter.

It was announced last week that lock Davies had signed a new two-year contract to remain at Rodney Parade.

The 25-year-old has been a mainstay of the Dean Ryan era, playing in 35 of 43 possible fixtures since the director of rugby took the reins.

Davies is currently battling with Joe Maksymiw, Matthew Screech and rising star Carter for starts in the second row.

There will be added competition next season when Max Williams returns from an Achilles injury and Wales forward Will Rowlands arrives from Wasps.

However, the emergence of 20-year-old Carter as a frontline starter has taken everybody by surprise at the Dragons; they knew he was talented but didn’t expect him to perform quite so impressively in a physical, unforgiving position.

South Wales Argus: IMPRESSIVE: Dragons young gun Ben CarterIMPRESSIVE: Dragons young gun Ben Carter

“Ben has come in and has slotted straight in. He has done incredibly well,” said Davies about his fellow Caldicot native.

“I've seen him playing at Caldicot, with the Dragons age-grade and Wales Under-20s, when he really shone.

“With no Premiership games this season, he had his chance and has taken it extremely well.”

Davies made his Dragons debut as a 17-year-old against the Scarlets in the Anglo-Welsh Cup when he slotted in next to Adam Jones and was replaced by another Wales international in Rob Sidoli.

Now he is playing his part in helping Carter to continue his impressive start to life in senior rugby.

“It is definitely a big step up to the PRO14 but Ben is very intuitive. He knows what he is doing and will sit on the computers doing analysis all day.

“He does ask questions when he needs to and I enjoy helping him – my job is to get him starting next to me!”

South Wales Argus: UNSEEN: Joe Davies is happy to go under the radar for the DragonsUNSEEN: Joe Davies is happy to go under the radar for the Dragons

Carter may be making waves but Davies is happy to go under the radar, making his USP the dirty work to impress Ryan.

“He has stripped things back,” said the unflashy lock, who is yet to score a try in 78 appearances. “I don’t necessarily think that I get seen and I am not too bothered with that.

“My defensive maul, my tackles, the work rate stuff – Dean values that in players. I didn’t necessarily value that sometimes but you realise that is what you are good at when your head coach values it.

“My base line things are what I keep trying to improve every week. I want to get better in everything that I do but I need to focus on what I am good at to keep being able to perform.

“I am not there to be x-factor, I am not there to be seen. I am there to do the graft and make everyone else look good.”