Call goes out for Corey in Blues’ front-row cri­sis

South Wales Echo - - RUGBY UNION -

IN­JURY-RAV­AGED Cardiff Blues are to hand a 20-year-old with only 11 min­utes of re­gional ex­pe­ri­ence a start­ing spot in to­mor­row’s cru­cial Euro­pean Chal­lenge Cup clash out in Pau.

With Gethin Jenk­ins, Rhys Gill and Brad Thyer all out in­jured, young Corey Do­ma­chowski will pack down at loose­head prop at the im­pos­ing Stade du Hameau.

Wales leg­end Jenk­ins is on a lengthy lay-off fol­low­ing bi­cep surgery, while Gill and Thyer both suf­fered con­cus­sion dur­ing last week­end’s Pro12 de­feat to Glas­gow.

So, the call has gone out to Do­ma­chowski to make his first start for the Arms Park side in a game they have to win to keep alive their hopes of mak­ing the quar­ter-fi­nals.

His only pre­vi­ous re­gional out­ing was a brief ap­pear­ance as a re­place­ment against Glas­gow last March.

The Gil­fach Goch prod­uct has been play­ing his rugby at Premier­ship level with Pon­typridd and Cardiff to date.

Now he takes the size­able step up to Euro­pean level as he en­ters the Pau bear pit.

It’s a big ask, but he is highly-rated, hav­ing started ev­ery game dur­ing Wales U20s’ Grand Slam-win­ning Six Na­tions cam­paign last sea­son.

In all, he has made 10 ap­pear­ances for the U20s, start­ing four of their five games dur­ing the World Cham­pi­onship in Manch­ester last sum­mer.

He will wear No.1 against Pau, with Ge­or­gian tight-head An­ton Peikr­ishvili – who can play on both sides of the scrum – pro­vid­ing the loose­head cover.

In ad­di­tion to Gill and Thyer, flanker El­lis Jenk­ins also suf­fered con­cus­sion against Glas­gow, hav­ing been forced off early fol­low­ing a col­li­sion at Scot­stoun.

USA winger Blaine Scully is un­avail­able this week­end for per­sonal rea­sons, while Nick Wil­liams, Gareth An­scombe, Tom James, Josh Turn­bull and Dan Fish re­mained side­lined, with Ge­orge Earle still sus­pended hav­ing lost his ap­peal against an eight-week ban.

How­ever, there is some en­cour­ag­ing news about No.8 Wil­liams (calf) and fly-half An­scombe (groin surgery), who are close to re­turn­ing.

Back-five for­ward Turn­bull is out for four months fol­low­ing an oper­a­tion on his back, while full-back Fish will miss the rest of the sea­son with a se­ri­ous ham­string tear.

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