After signing his first professional contract with Cardiff Blues, Corey Domachowski is looking forward to testing himself at one of the great cauldrons of European rugby on Friday.
Danny Wilson’s men travel to the south of France for round two of the European Challenge Cup pool stage, where they take on four-time Heineken Cup winners, Toulouse.
The 21-year-old prop, who recently passed the 20-appearance mark in a Cardiff Blues shirt, made his first regional start at Pau in the same competition last season, and he expects to face similar physical challenge on Friday.
“We’ve spoken all week about how physical the French teams are,” said Domachowski.
“They’ll look to bring it to us up front, and whether they play their starting team or the boys that don’t regularly play, we know they’ve got strength in depth and we’re looking for a big challenge.
“I’ve played out in France against Pau during last season’s Challenge Cup. It was a tough game, so I know what to expect this time around.”
Domachowski, who started in last week’s bonus point win over Lyon, is over the moon at extending his time at Cardiff Arms Park, and believes the mix of youth and experience within the squad makes it the perfect place for youngsters like himself to develop their game.
The Wales U20’s international said: “It was non-negotiable for me and I’m delighted to have signed, obviously. It’s at my doorstep and I’ve always loved playing for the region.
“You’ve got the likes of Rhun, Seb Davies, Assiratti, Dillon, Brad Thyer. There’s a lot of us academy boys taking the steps and taking the opportunities now and putting our hands up for selection. It’s something we can work towards and it’s good.
“Injuries helped me out a lot last year, giving me a couple of opportunities. Luckily Danny showed a bit of confidence in me and now I’ve passed the 20-game mark and I’m happy with that.
“Obviously you’ve got Gethin here, and you just have to look at the career he’s had, and I’ve got a good bond with Rhys Gill. We speak a lot and he’s been brilliant to work off. I can learn so much and I have learnt a lot from the both of them.
“I had a bit of trouble in training at the start, as you can imagine, but I just kept getting better and coming up against Fa’ao Filise is making me better each session as well, so there’s a huge credit to him as well.”