Dragons lock Ben Carter is looking to make the journey from international relations to international rugby this summer - after receiving a shock first summons to the senior Wales squad.
The 20-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season for Dean Ryan’s men, making 19 appearances since his full debut against Munster last November.
Carter has captained Wales at Under-18 and Under-19 level and has now taken the next step up after becoming one of five uncapped players in Wales’ 34-man summer Test squad.
And Carter, who is studying a pathway course in international relations at Cardiff University, is determined to take it all in his considerable stride.
“I am just going to go into the camp and do my own thing and give it a good crack,” said Carter, will be joined in the Wales squad this summer by team-mate and fellow uncapped Dragon Taine Basham.
“We were in the gym training and Elliot Dee told me to go and check my emails,” he revealed. “I did and luckily I got the good news. My friends and family were really pleased for me.
“I’m lucky I’ve got a really good support network around me and they were all really chuffed. I’ve had a lot of nice messages and it’s been a really nice 24 hours.
“If you had asked me at the start of the season about the Welsh squad, I would have thought you were crazy. I probably wasn’t even expecting to make a Dragons debut.
“It’s quite a shock and I am just really grateful I am in there. It will be a great opportunity for me to learn, but also I want to go and do well.
“I’m just really excited and looking forward to getting into camp.
“I think it will be a step up again from regional rugby and it will be a great opportunity to improve as a player.”
On his degree, Carter added: “There are modules on Welsh politics, the Cold War, but also things like nuclear politics and reasons for war. It’s very broad and I do really enjoy it.
“I’ve found it good to do something as well as rugby to sort of switch off sometimes, but at the same time, it’s also quite a lot to do.
“I am on a pathway course just getting a taste for it seeing if I will be able to manage it alongside rugby. I will decide whether I will take that on to the full course next year or pursue something else.”
I think it will be a step up again from regional rugby and it will be a great opportunity to improve as a player...