Following on from school rugby, where he continued in the front row, he joined Wellingborough Rugby Football Club, who not only had a surfeit of props, but also three other players named Dominic!
And so his alter-ego Shawsy was born, a deceptively fast number 8 with a pickand- go which drove 53 tries over the line that season.
Although he moved back to the front row the next year, he’s played in a number of positions for the club, getting to know how the pack works and has also met a variety of referees – traditional and more modern – and learnt how they handled the game and incidents on the pitch.
Refereeing opportunities came firstly through the house system at Northampton School for Boys, where he volunteered to officiate the lower years after school. He also booked himself on an RFU England Rugby Refereeing Award, one of the regular Young Match Officials courses hosted in the East Midlands.
He started to build on opportunities: a cancelled match meaning he could ref another game; a younger brother just starting the game presenting a chance to learn the different regulations for the younger age group games. He’s also enjoyed a three-week tour to New Zealand and Australia.
As part of the RFU’s Young Ambassador programme, he logs coaching and refereeing hours each week and intends to continue through university where, when he isn’t playing, he can help run the line, or take charge of matches.