MOST of Wales gulped when they saw the South Africa line-up for Saturday’s clash at Twickenham but not Dragons lock Ben Carter, who has a “point to prove” against a pair of legendary Springboks.

The 23-year-old from Caldicot will join forces with clubmate Matthew Screech, who is making his first international start, to go up against Eben Etzebeth and Franco Mostert.

The hefty South African pair boast a combined tally of 192 caps and are double World Cup winners.

Carter will make his 12th outing on the international stage and first since starting against the Boks in Cardiff last summer.

In the absence of Adam Beard, Will Rowlands, Dafydd Jenkins, Teddy Williams and Rhys Davies, the Dragons talent has a chance to show his progress.

Talking to BBC Wales’ Scrum V podcast, Carter said: “I think of it as being exciting – the world champions, who better to test yourself against?

“One of my work-ons since the start of my professional career has been the collisions and physicality.

“This season I put a big focus on getting bigger and stronger to help in that aspect so Saturday will be a brilliant test.”

BIGGER: Dragons lock Ben CarterBIGGER: Dragons lock Ben Carter (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

Carter bulked up thanks to being put on a conditioning plan while sidelined by a serious hamstring tear suffered in the autumn, a blow that meant he wasn’t in contention for the Six Nations.

In March he told the Argus that he had put on six kilos to tip the scales at 126kg, just shy of 20st.

“IIn the first few games I was maybe a bit worried that it was too much but I feel I have got used to it and like carrying that extra weight in collisions.

“If I can get to a point with my fitness levels where I was before while being heavier then that will only be beneficial.”

Carter knows that he needs to be a bigger hitter if he is to establish himself on the Test stage under Warren Gatland, who left him out of his squad for France 2023.

CHALLENGE: Ben Carter wants to cement himself in the Wales squadCHALLENGE: Ben Carter wants to cement himself in the Wales squad

“[The training camps in] Switzerland and Turkey were tough but good and then there was the final cut for the World Cup,” said the lock.

“Unfortunately I didn’t get in there so I have a bit of a point to prove in this camp. I remember the phone call and it was pretty devastating seeing the number pop up, I knew straight away.

“World Cup camps are tough and it probably exceeded my expectations, so it was devastating but I also felt that I got a lot out of the training camps and a couple of games.

“I will take all the experiences that I get and then when I do get the opportunity to play I can put my best foot forward.”

And he will do that alongside Dragons stalwart Screech, a man who is poised to add to his solitary cap made as a replacement against Argentina in 2021.

The 31-year-old is an unsung hero at club level and now faces a huge challenge on the Test stage at Twickenham.

“Screech has been a great help to me coming through at the Dragons and I love playing and learning from him,” said Carter.

“He is one of those people that you love to play with and I am looking forward to doing it in the Welsh shirt.”