Ebbw Vale arrive at Rodney Parade with a run of three wins behind them. They beat Bedwas and Llanelli in the league and then won a very tight game against RGC in the National Cup. Last weekend their cup game against Bridgend was postponed owing to a water-logged Brewery Field. Newport and Ebbw Vale have already met home and away this season with the Black & Ambers getting the victory on both occasions, but the Eugene Cross Park outfit will be a difficult side to beat on Sunday. New head coach, Gregg Woods, is very experienced at putting together winning teams and we can be sure that they will be very well prepared. Gregg, of course, had many successful seasons at his previous club, Cross Keys.
The home side also have a run of three wins behind them and will be keen to extend this run. Following a hard-fought league game against Cardiff they travelled to Swansea and gained a comfortable cup win although the score-line didn’t reflect this with the home side getting two seven pointers in the last couple of minutes. Last Sunday they were up against a very well organised Aberavon outfit who were able to keep the ball and go through multiple phases and only a season best defensive display stopped them crossing the line. A fine victory for the Rodney Parade side sees them progress into the quarter-finals of the National Cup to face the winners of the postponed Beddau-Bedwas tie.
Newport were without several players last week but those who came in did an excellent job. There will be several fitness checks at Thursday’s training before the team is selected.
The starting fifteen shows just two changes with the coaching team rewarding players for a great performance last week. Fit again Matt O’Brien gets the ten spot and Evan Whitson starts at hooker after a good showing when coming on for the injured Henry Palmer.
Newport: Nick Boyce, Evan Whitson, Garin Harris, Joe Bartlett, Dan Partridge, Rhys Cresswell, Kyle Tayler, Alex Everett, Ryan James, Matt O’Brien, Jon Morris, Tom Pascoe, Geraint O’Driscoll, Adam Sabri, Elliot Frewen.
Replacements: Will Evans, Matt Prosser, Tom Piper, Andrew Mann, Josh Reid, Owen Davies, Haydn Simons, Andrew Evans.
Ref: Robert price
AR1: Aaron Parry
AR2: Huw David
Kick off: 2:30