NEWPORT are close to clicking and “putting teams to the sword”, believes their recent openside signing and acting captain Craig Attwell.
The Black and Ambers have an excellent pedigree in the British & Irish Cup and hope to maintain that proud tradition at Rodney Parade tomorrow.
Newport have beaten Leinster A away at Donnybrook and also seen off Cornish Pirates and Exeter – the Chiefs beaten the season they won promotion to the Aviva Premiership – at home for some of their most memorable victories in recent years.
With Connacht in town with their ‘A’ team, ex-Pontypool flanker Attwell hopes it is Newport’s plan that comes together this weekend after an uncertain start to their Premiership campaign.
“We haven’t had the best of starts in the league, but it is coming and it is going to click,” he said.
“Newport have had some good wins in this competition we are hoping to go out there and do the same this weekend.”
Attwell, 21, is skippering the Black and Ambers in tighthead prop Gethin Robinson’s absence after he tore a bicep in their heavy defeat away to Cardiff last month.
The back rower, a convert from hooker, admits it has been difficult to prepare for the Irish side’s development outfit.
“It’s tough to prepare against teams you haven’t seen play before, especially an A team – you don’t really know what they are going to be like.
“I suppose they’ll bring players with Pro12 experience so it’s going to be a tough challenge but one we look forward to.”
Despite having a talented squad, Newport have won just two and lost five of their opening seven Premiership games so far.
Attwell said they just need time before they start to get it together: “I think a lot of people have got to remember we brought in something like 16 or 17 new boys this season.
“It’s finally starting to gel – we had a couple of big defeats but if you look at our recent games , they’ve been close and you can see that our performances are starting to click a bit.
“I think we are one or two weeks away and then we’re going to start putting teams to the sword.
“With the talent we’ve got, it could be a good season.”