Fatherhood has been key to Corey Domachowski’s recent form, as the young prop celebrated his 50th appearance for Cardiff Blues with a bonus point win over Connacht.
The 24-year-old has worked his way into John Mulvihill’s starting XV this season, starting back-to-back games as Wales’ Capital Region maintained a winning start to the Guinness PRO14 campaign.
Domachowski says the birth of his daughter, Mia, in August 2019 has been the motivating factor behind his improvements, but also pointed towards the mentoring from senior members of the squad such as Rhys Gill and Scott Andrews.
“I’ve been working hard over the last 18 months to better my game, and it’s been nice to have the opportunities,” said the former Wales under-20 Grand Slam winner.
“I try to keep the jersey every time I wear it and try to put a good performance in every time.
“Ever since my daughter was born, it gave me a kick up the backside.
“When I was in the academy, I was one of those players who was just happy to be where I was.
“I probably could’ve worked a bit harder and I realised that when the baby came along.
“She gives me inspiration and that’s why I do it - it’s for her.
“She’s definitely been a factor behind my improvements over the last 18 months.
“There’s babies flying everywhere at the moment. It gives a lot of boys the motivation to kick on and do your family proud.
“As a front row, we’re all improving and we’re all young. Me and Dillon and have played age grade together, and the same’s true for Rhys Carré and Keiron Assiratti.
“We’ve all got a good relationship together and we’re all making each other better.
“We’re also learning from boys like Rhys Gill and Scott Andrews, who are a bit more experienced, and it’s great at the moment. It’s a good place to be.”
The stunning victory over Connacht on Saturday meant Mulvihill’s side are now two from two this season.
With six players now departing for international duty, Domachowski is confident other members of the squad are more than capable of stepping up in their absence.
The prop added: “It’s been great. We’ve had two great victories now and hopefully it can keep getting better as we go on.
“Last week against Zebre we had the same situation where it was a tough and physical game and we showed our character once again tonight.
“We’ve got a lot of strength in depth, and with boys going on international duty it will give other boys an opportunity to step in and do the job.
“There’s no doubt that they’ll be able to do it because we have a tight group here and we have a good squad.
“It’s nice to have 50 caps for my home region. It’s a nice moment for myself and my family and hopefully there’s more to come.
“I had opportunities when I was quite young for a prop and I’ve built on it since.
“I think that I’m getting better but there’s still room for improvement and my aim is to keep getting better with each game.”