Corey Domachowski believes that Wales can reap the rewards from “15 weeks of hell” in their Rugby World Cup campaign.
The Cardiff prop is a Test rugby newcomer, making his debut against warm-up opponents England last month.
His impact was sufficient for Wales head coach Warren Gatland to select him not only in the final World Cup squad, but also hand him a place among the matchday 23 to face opening World Cup opponents Fiji on Sunday.
— Welsh Rugby Union (@WelshRugbyUnion) September 5, 2023
Wales have moved south from their Versailles training base to the first match venue of Bordeaux.
They were greeted by temperatures of 35 degrees as the heat in France shows no sign of relenting, and even though Sunday’s encounter does not start until 9pm local time, it is set to be only eight degrees cooler.
Wales, though, are fully prepared, with the players being put through their paces at punishing pre-World Cup camps in Switzerland and Turkey during a training phase that began in late May.
“We’ve trained hard for this,” Domachowski said.
“We had 15 weeks of hell, to be honest. It has been absolutely savage.
“And I genuinely think if we put what we’ve done on the training field on to the playing field, then we are going to be a tough team to beat.
“That’s something ‘Gats’ and the other coaches have drilled into us. We are not going to worry about any opposition. We know we have got quality in the squad.
“There is a lot of competition in that squad, and whoever goes on the field will give everything they’ve got for that jersey.”
— Welsh Rugby Union (@WelshRugbyUnion) September 4, 2023
Domachowski has already made a World Cup impression, leading the Wales players in a rendition of the Welsh hymn Calon Lan during the squad’s World Cup welcome ceremony in Versailles.
“As you can tell, I am a bit of a character, so ‘Nugget’ (team manager Martyn Williams) came up to me and asked me if I would lead it,” Domachowski added.
“So I said yes, and the boys were winding me up saying I could go on my own at first, but to be fair to ‘Gats’ he said we would all do it together.
“So I had to just lead it up, we had a couple of lessons and it went well.”