CAPTAIN Scott Matthews takes his place in the Cross Keys starting XV today for the first time since being injured on the opening weekend of the season.

The flanker suffered a blow to the collar bone against Merthyr but returned to action last Saturday at Pontypridd, coming off the bench to replace Joe Thomas.

Stand-in skipper Adam Powell hands the captain’s armband back to Matthews this afternoon as Keys host Gwent rivals Newport at Pandy Park (kick-off 2.30pm).

Matthews is one of five changes to the Keys XV from the 26-12 loss to Pontypridd.

Josh Prosser moves to fly-half from full-back with Corey Shepherd dropping out of the matchday squad.

Phil Williams features at inside centre alongside Barney Nightingale, with Leon Andrews switching to 15.

Corey Hewlett and Nathan Buck replace Lewis Smout and Richard Cornock at loosehead and tighthead respectively, while Liam Davies starts on the blindside.

Newport head coach Craig Warlow brings in Haydn Simons and Will Evans at fly-half and hooker respectively.

Haydn Palmer is handed a place on the wing after a couple of games for Newbridge, and back-rower Josh Reid fills the number eight berth.

Also in Principality Premiership East today, leaders Bedwas entertain basement boys Ebbw Vale at Bridge Field (kick-off 2.30pm).

Bedwas supremo Ian Gardner gives a start to full-back Mike Hathaway, centre Mike Callow is recalled and Lewis Evans partners Tom Rowlands in the half-backs.

Gardner keeps faith with his starting front row but Andrew Waite joins James Richards in the second row and David McGuigan makes his first start in the back row.

Elsewhere, Bargoed host Merthyr and Pontypridd go to Cardiff.

Bedwas: M Hathaway; O Halford, R Wardle, M Callow, M John; L Evans, T Rowlands; B Toms, D Rogers, C Budgen, J Richards, A Waite, D McGuigan, G Lee (capt), M Allen. Reps: D Preece, A Rees, L Bridges, G Edmunds, N Hudd, N Griffiths, S Jones, A Bramwell.

Cross Keys: L Andrews; M Powell, B Nightingale, P Williams, L Lewis; J Prosser, J Leadbeater; C Hewlett, R Jones, N Buck, T Lampard, J Skinner, L Davies, S Matthews (capt), A Powell. Reps: G Carpenter, L Smout, R Cornock, D Mock, J Thomas, N Trowbridge, R Pritchard, B Snell.

Ebbw Vale: D Haymond; G Payne, J Lewis, D Langdon, S Majkic; C Hall, C Lewis; R Jones, R Francis, R Sevenoaks, J Davies, L Randall, K Parker, R Kynes (capt), C Regan. Reps: M Williams, J Harries, J James, J Franchi, O Jones, D Jones, D Franchi, T Fricker.

Newport: G O’Driscoll; C Howells, C Smith, T Pascoe, Ha Palmer; H Simons, O Davies; J Lavender, W Evans, G Harris, M Burgess, J Bartlett, R Jenkins (capt), K Tayler, J Reid. Reps: He Palmer, M Prosser, T Piper, R Cresswell, J Cullimore, R James, M O’Brien, A Sabri.