The Black & Ambers play a Newport & District XV on Thursday in a game arranged as a tribute to two long-standing officials who have each given fifty years of service to the Newport & District RU and/or the Welsh Districts RU. Herbie Jones and Tom Mulcahy have given outstanding service to grass roots rugby in this area and it is unlikely that their records will ever be matched. Congratulations both and we wish you a happy retirement although I find it very difficult to believe that you would be able to stay away from a rugby match when a Saturday comes around.
During the 1990s Newport played several games against Newport & District Rugby Union and some of the players who turned out for Newport in those games made a big impact for our club; Fred Sagoe, Mike Voyle, Gareth Rees, David Waters, Paul Turner and Mark Workman. In the light of present circumstances, those really were happy days.
The coaching team will try out some new players in this game but are still able to put out a strong starting fifteen and a strong bench. It will be good to see Arwel Robson back at ten and Geraint O’Driscoll can go back to his favourite position at full-back after doing a splendid job playing out of position. Chris Coleman starts at tight-head prop after playing well for Wales Under 20s with another youngster, Keegan Bale, on the other side of the scrum. Ryan Bates from Croesyceilliog starts at scrum half with his club partner, Haydn Simmons, on the bench and sure to get some game time.
Newport: Keegan Bale, Evan Whitson, Chris Coleman, Mathew Billings, Dan Partridge, Dan Mock, Nathan Hudd, Rhodri Jones, Ryan Bates, Arwel Robson, Jon Morris, Haydn Palmer, Wes Cunliffe, Llywarch Ap Myrddin, Geraint O’Driscoll.
Replacements: Will Evans, Mathew Prosser, Garin Harris, Adam Brown, Kyle Tayler, Ryan James, Haydn Simmons.
Referee: Dai Cambourne.
Admission is free to season ticket holders. Adults £5, Concessions £3
Please note that only the Bisley side of Rodney Parade will be open for this game