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Bittersweet day for Domachowski

Corey Domachowski poses for a photo after a press conference.

Bittersweet day for Domachowski

Just how much in meant to be named in Wales’ World Cup squad for France was probably best encapsulated in a tweet from the Cardiff Rugby prop Corey Domachowski. 

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Earlier in the year he was facing an uncertain future and was even wondering how he was going to be able to provide for his family. Yet this week, having won two caps in the summer series, he was included in the 33-man squad for the World Cup 

“Well, I’m lost for words. Not the best morning having to lay my Nan to rest but certainly they’ve all been looking down on me from above. Absolutely over the moon. Get those croissants ready baby. Thanks again everyone for the messages.” he posted on social media

It was a bitter-sweet day for the 26-year-old, who launched his career at Gilfach Goch RFC, as he waited to head the squad announcement live on TV. He went on to explain his feelings to the media later in the day.  

“It was a bit of a weird one. It was my Nan’s funeral, and we were all in the living room waiting for the hearse to turn up,” said Domachowski.

“I had my phone next to me, but I didn’t think it was the right place to watch it. All the family said they wanted to know if I was in or not.

“As soon as my name was announced it erupted. It was quite nice because it was a sad day, and everyone was a bit down, but it lifted the mood a bit and everyone was ecstatic.”

Given he was two weeks away from packing in professional rugby last season, World Cup selection represented a massive turn-around for him.

“It’s probably down to what we all experienced at the start of the year with the finances, not knowing if you’ve got a job, and trying to secure food to put on the table for the kids,” admitted Domachowski.  

“I used it a lot for motivation. I just thought it could be my last push to stay in professional rugby and I was two weeks away from calling it a day.

“I sat down with my partner and said I’d probably have to start looking at going down a different route in my career.”  

Now he wants to push for a starting place against Fiji on Sunday, 10 September in Bordeaux. 

Rio Dyer

Rio Dyer speaks to the media after his inclusion in the World Cup squad

 No one was more nervous that Dragons wing Rio Dyer as he waited to see if his name was among the chosen 33 to go to the World Cup. 

 Still sporting the black eye and stitches he received in a collision with Springbok full back Damien Willemse in the defeat to the world champions, the 23-year-old feared his yellow card he picked up in conceding a penalty try might strike him out of the reckoning.  

“Walking off in front of all the fans, and with the pressure of selection coming up on the Monday, I sat on the chair thinking I’d probably just butchered my chance and cost my team,” admitted Dyer.  

“All of the pressure was back on me, so when I went back on, I put my all into it. I wanted to make sure I gave 110% because it was my fault I got the yellow card, not the team. The only way I could give back was by giving my all.  

“I could have easily just had a yellow card and thrown my toys out of the pram and put my head under the shed and thought it is what it is, it’s done now. But I wanted to go out there and impress and put that effort in.  

“I’m not just there to make up the numbers or put the jersey on and be happy. I want to push myself on further and achieve what some of the boys have here. Sitting on that chair in front of your home crowd, under the pump, knowing what’s coming around the corner, after 14 weeks, it was a pressure point for me.  

“Going back into the changing rooms, seeing the coaches, it was embarrassing for me, so it was about keeping my composure.” 

Dyer watched the televised announcement on his own at home before heading to see his family. It was a nervous few hours before he learned he will be going to France.

“I was up at about 8.30am and paced around for a few hours. I was trying to keep busy at the time, but it wasn’t going quickly enough,” he added.

“My family live only about five minutes away and as soon as my name got called out, I knew what their reaction would be.   

“As I was travelling home, my mum was ringing me and ringing me, but I wanted to see them in person. When I walked through the door, they said they couldn’t have felt more proud. Most players want to give back to their families because of what they’ve been through while they’ve been playing the game.

“The excitement probably hasn’t fully hit me yet, but the whole day is one I won’t forget. I’ve watched the World Cup in the past, so to be a part of it will be an amazing occasion for me.

“Four years ago, I was just starting to get into the mix with the Dragons. I was still an academy player, and I remember watching Aaron Wainwright playing.

“He was two years above me and I remember thinking how amazing it was that someone I knew, and I was in school with was playing in a World Cup.

“I thought at the time that if I keep pushing myself, and focusing, I can get there one day.”    

   

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