Newport head to the Gnoll on the back of two good wins while the home side is still looking for a first win. But Neath cannot be taken for granted and they are bound to target their home games to get their season back on track. It doesn’t seem right to see this famous club sitting at the bottom of the table and surely they will not be there for too long.
The Black & Ambers are in a good place at the moment and the biggest problem for the coaching team is picking the matchday 23 with so many players in good form. The starting pack had the upper hand against Bridgend last Saturday and this continued as all six forward replacements were used. The backs looked dangerous also and again this continued when the replacements came on.
The league table is looking interesting and Newport needs to win this game and the next one, home against Swansea, to climb into the leading group before starting a run of tough away games.
A couple of players picked up bumps and bruises last week and weren’t considered for this game.
The coaches have selected the same front row they put out against Bridgend but only Kyle Tayler is retained in the back five. Andrew Mann and Dan Partridge are in the boiler house and captain, Rhys Jenkins, and Mathew Reed come into the back row. Ryan James reclaims the scrum half spot with Matt O’Brien his partner. The threequarters look settled but impressive youngster, David Richards, takes the full-back position. Once again the matchday squad features a very strong replacements bench
Newport: Lewis Smout, Will Evans, Garin Evans, Andrew Mann, Dan Partridge, Rhys Jenkins, Kyle Tayler, Mathew Reed, Ryan James, Matt O’Brien, Elliot Frewen, Tom Pascoe, Chay Smith, Jon Morris, David Richards.
Replacements: Henry Palmer, Dan Preece, Tom Piper, Josh Skinner, Morgan Burgess, Geraint Watkin, Matt McGovern, Geraint O’Driscoll.
Ref: Wayne Davies
AR1: Richard Brace
AR2: Keith Thomas