Newport : Aaron Coundley, Andrew Brown (capt), Dai Pattison, Adam Frampton, Alex Jones, Carl Townsend, Darren Waters, Hywel Stoddart
James Leadbeater, Ryan James, Elliot Frewen, Scott Williams, Luke Plummer, Alan Awcock, Gareth Bowen
Reps : Dale Rogers, Dafydd Morgan, Craig Howells, Lance Randall, Nial Martin, AN Other, Josh Davies.
Chris Kirwan, SWA writes :
DEFENSIVE desire will be key if Newport are to finish their home campaign on a high against Swansea, according to head coach Sven Cronk. The Black and Ambers’ Premiership encounter against the Whites is the last on their own patch this season. They head into the game with a 100 per cent home league record in 2012 after successes against Cardiff, Neath and Pontypridd. Victory against Swansea could see Newport climb above their visitors into 10th place in the table.
“It’s our last home game of the season and we are demanding one last big performance in front of our own fans,” said Cronk. “The wins against Cardiff, Neath and Pontypridd were based on hard work and intensity in defence. The same will be needed against Swansea, who like to throw the ball around but also look to get over the gain line in that 12/13 channel. It’s up to us to stop them and produce another big defensive performance like we did against Neath and Pontypridd.”
Newport are looking to get back on the horse following a 51-14 defeat to Gwent rivals Cross Keys at Pandy Park last time out. That score-line didn’t reflect the tightness of the contest with the hosts stretching away in the final quarter as fatigue set in.
Cronk said: “Hats off to Keys, they are a side playing with plenty of confidence and they played to their strengths superbly. But it was just a case of a game too far for us after the wins against Neath and Ponty and the defence suffered when the legs went late on. We’ve got to put that behind us and just concentrate on doing what got us our wins at Rodney Parade.”
Dragons flanker Darren Waters, who started in the region’s wins against Cardiff Blues and Edinburgh, is on Newport duty this weekend. That means the Black and Ambers can field a specialist openside in the absence of injury victims Craig Hill and Rhys Jenkins.
The loss at Pandy Park had seen hooker Dale Rogers filling in as an emergency seven in the second half. However, loose-head Dai Pattison must continue in the number 3 jersey because Newport are still without a tighthead prop.
No 8 Hywel Stoddart is fresh from making his regional debut for the Dragons at Murrayfield while hooker Andrew Brown, centre Scott Williams and wing Elliot Frewen feature after playing for the Premiership XV in their midweek loss to a Georgia Select XV.