Some supporters might think that forecasting the result of this game is a ‘no-brainer’. The home team is buzzing after a great bonus point victory away at Carmarthen while Bargoed suffered a big defeat at home against a rampant Llandovery. But this is a Gwent derby and less than a year ago unfancied Bargoed arrived at Rodney Parade on a wet, windy day and gave the Black & Ambers a lesson in how to play basic rugby in those conditions. Newport fielded a strong team that day and many of those players are likely to be involved on Sunday so they will be aware that form doesn’t count for much and it’s all about performance on the day. It promises to be an intriguing game and one that the home team needs to win to keep their season on track.
The coaching team has some tough choices to make after last week’s performance where all the starting fifteen went well and all the replacements made an impact. We also have players returning from injury and unavailability to make team selection even more difficult.
Just one change from the starting fifteen from last week with Garin Harris and Tom Piper swapping places. Morgan Burgess comes into the replacements joined by Geraint O’Driscoll on his return from honeymoon. Mathew (Wibble) Reed again features on the bench after a fine debut against Carmarthen.
Newport: Dan Preece, Henry Palmer, Garin Harris, Joe Bartlett, Rynard Landman, Josh Skinner, Kyle Tayler, Rhys Jenkins (Capt.), Ryan James, Matt O’Brien, Harri Lang, Tom Pascoe, Chay Smith, Jon Morris, Elliot Frewen.
Replacements: Evan Whitson, Lewis Smout, Tom Piper, Morgan Burgess, Mathew Reed, Geraint Watkins, Matt McGovern, Geraint O’Driscoll.
Referee: Jason Bessant
AR1: John Darcy
AR2: Simon Davies