It has been something of a breakthrough month for Corey Domachowski and he is now aiming to impress in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
Up until 2017, the 21-year-old loose-head prop had made just one appearance for Cardiff Blues – off the bench against Glasgow Warriors last season.
But a succession of front-row injuries, following his own recovery, saw the former Wales Under-20s ace thrust into the limelight.
He made his first start for the region, and European debut, against Section Paloise doing himself no disservice, and came off the bench in last week’s commanding victory over Bristol.
Domachowski did not expect to get the call so soon but he was pleased to step into the void and is now focussed on the final rounds of the Blues’ Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign with Sale Sharks on Friday night next up.
He said: “It’s been a pleasure to be involved and great experience for myself. I didn’t expect to the chance to come along but things happened and I was prepared for it – it’s been good.
“I had one game last year which I was also surprised with but it’s nice to be in the mix.
“Pau were a big strong pack. A typical French team, strong but the boys dug in and helped myself out.
“This week is a good chance to put your foot in the door and to try to prove to coaches and teammates that you are capable at this level.
“You want to kick on and hopefully put yourself up for selection for bigger games but it’s not an easy competition or game to play in.
“We know Sale will be coming at us up front, it’s going to be won in the forwards but we have a big pack and are hoping to take it to them.”
With the likes of Gethin Jenkins, Rhys Gill, Matthew Rees and Taufa’ao Filise within the Blues’ front-row ranks there is plenty of experience for Domachowski to call upon.
And he admits he is learning every day as he looks to forge a professional career at Wales’ Capital Region.
He added: “I’ve learnt a lot from the boys here and it’s not just the front row. The back-row, the second-row – Jarrad Hoeata is always talking to me about scrummaging, lineouts, lifting, everything. The boys here are great and I’m learning a lot.”