Mark Jones reckons Wales will have to earn their stripes to mark their 600th Test match in style against the USA this weekend.
The youthful Dragons hope to round off their two-Test tour to North America with victory at Toyota Park in Chicago on Saturday.
Wales have never lost to the Eagles in six previous meetings but Jones believes his team-mates will need to be at their best in order to celebrate the historic milestone.
Jones, 29, said: "It's vital that the ship is in order when Warren Gatland and the senior coaches come back from the British Lions for the autumn - it's a big opportunity for all the players to stamp their authority on the tour.
"Everyone will go back and play in the Magners League or Heineken Cup and when the autumn and Six Nations next season comes around, there is a real opportunity for everyone to put their hand up for selection."
Jones is one of only two survivors - along with Cardiff Blues scrum-half Gareth Cooper - on this tour who figured in Wales' 500th international on the summer trip to Japan eight years ago.
Gavin Henson and Jamie Robinson made their Wales debuts in the 64-10 romp in Osaka as a young wing sensation by the name of Shane Williams bagged four tries.
Jones recalled: "I was like a lot of the young players in the squad now. The 500th Test was only my third cap for Wales but I remember it was a roasting hot day and extremely humid.
"Gav made his debut and Shane showed us what he could do so it goes to show the young players on this tour that you can achieve greatness.
"Some have won 60+ caps, others have made several British Lions tours and that is what potentially lies ahead for them.
"Japan was a tough tour because you had to deal with a different language and different style of food but it really matured me as a young player - it was hugely beneficial.
"Although the language isn't a problem in America, the culture is different and it's warm. Obviously, you are a long way from home but it's a great place to tour. Hopefully, all the players, including the senior lads, will come back much stronger for the experience."
Jones has regained full fitness after sitting out last weekend's opening Test against Canada in Toronto with a minor knee injury.
But the Scarlets flyer, capped 46 times, admits his career has come full circle since making his debut as a replacement against England in 2001.
Jones said: "A lot has happened in my career since Wales' 500th game and I've almost come full circle.
"I've had a lot of nasty injuries and there were times when I thought I would never play rugby again. So to be able to put the Wales shirt on 100 games later - although I've not played in them all - is something I'm really proud of.
"The team will want to get the result like we did in the 500th. I scored my first Test try so I'd be delighted if I can sneak over for another one."
Beating Merthyr has boosted Carmarthen Quins hopes of reaching a top eight spot in the Principality Premiership. Quins captain Haydn Pugh is delighted with his team's progress and is determined that everyone from the Under 6s through to the senior team, enjoys the ride.
When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series