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