Newport welcome league leaders Merthyr to Rodney Parade on Saturday knowing that they have a tough task facing them.  The Wern outfit have a big, strong pack and used it to good effect when they got the win at home.  They used their efficient lineout to get possession near the try line and used the driving maul to get the tries.  Last time out they beat a very good Pontypridd team scoring 50 points and getting 7 tries.

The Black & Ambers have trained well after their very good performance against Ebbw Vale and will be confident of scoring some tries using their high tempo wide game.  Once again the coaching team has rotated the squad as they look at all the players and try different combinations.  Ryan Bates gets a start at 9 after making a big impact off the bench in his last two starts.  Elliot Frewen shows his versatility by starting at full-back.  Matt O’Brien gets the captain’s armband in the absence of Rhys Jenkins. Jon Morris makes a welcome return after injury to take his place on the bench.

Newport:  Nicky Boyce, Will Evans, Ken Dowding,  Rhys Cresswell, Joe Bartlett, Alex Everett, Joe Cullimore, Lennon Greggains, Ryan Bates, Matt O’Brien, Adam Sabri, Tom Pascoe, Chay Smith, Haydn Palmer, Elliott Frewen.

Replacements: Evan Whitson, Matt Prosser, Tom Piper, Dan Partridge, Josh Reid, Tom Lucas, Curtis Ayling, Jon Morris.


Referee: Rob Price

AR1: John Darcy

AR2: Gerwyn Taylor

Kick off: 1 PM

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