Rhys Carre is relishing tomorrow's clash with Ireland Under-20s at Parc Eirias as he makes his fourth consecutive Six Nations start.
The 19-year-old Cardiff Blues prop has been one of the stand-out performers in the young Wales squad, with two tries to his name.
He has formed an all-Cardiff Blues front-row with Corrie Tarrant and Kieron Assiratti, and nine players from the region are once again in the starting line-up for Saturday's encounter.
Ireland are currently unbeaten in the Championship but sit three-points behind England and Carre expects a formidable challenge.
He said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it; it’s been really good. Coming in I was a bit nervous because Under-20s is a big step for anyone but I’m getting into the groove now and just can’t wait for Ireland.
“They will present a big, physical challenge. Their back-row is really intense at the breakdown, they always play a plus one so we have to deal with that first and if we win that battle we’ll do alright.
“We’ve come up through the age groups together so we have bonded as a team, we are becoming one team and going forward we’ll do fine.”
The Cardiff Blues front-row trio are just the latest to progress under the tutelage of Wales Under-20s forwards coach Chris Horsman, and follow in the footsteps of Dillon Lewis and Corey Domachowski, who graduated from the age-grade last season.
Domachowski has been particularly prominent this season and received widespread plaudits for his performance in his first Guinness PRO12 start against Munster last week.
Carre added: “I’ve been training with Corey since I started at 17 with the Blues Under-18s set-up, we know our roles, we know we’re quite similar players and if I keep going the same way that he is, hopefully I will get there as well.
“It’s a real bonus (to be coached by Horseman), all his experience – he knows all the ins and outs and has taught me stuff I never knew before.
“He’s really helped me improve as a player, coming up through the age-grades the coaching increases and right now I’m in a good place.”
With so many tight-five forwards coming through the ranks at Wales’ Capital Region, the future certainly looks bright.
And Horsman has credited the joined-up approach between the region and the Wales age-grade set-up, for developing such bright prospect.
He said: “Particularly with the younger players, the access, the communication, the regular conferences – there is so much that goes on behind the scenes.
“The communications with the regions, and the regional coaches, in terms of just this fella sat next to me (Rhys Carre), the amount of conversations I have with him, knowing and understanding what he’s doing on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis with the Blues allows us to affect these players.
“Of course I would love to win an Under-20s World Cup but to see Corey (Domachowski) playing for the Blues, Leon Brown coming in for the Dragons, to see Dillon (Lewis) performing is brilliant.
"With the likes of Rhys (Carre), Kieron Assiratti, it’s great to have that joined up approach to maximise what I think are some very talented front-row forwards.”