NEWPORT will have plenty of pace to burn on their wings in this afternoon's British and Irish Cup encounter with Connacht Eagles at Rodney Parade.

Dragons speedster Tonderai Chavhanga makes his Black and Ambers debut as he continues his comeback from summer knee surgery.

The former South Africa international is known as one of the fastest players in world rugby but tricky Dragons academy winger Ashton Hewitt is certainly no slouch on the other flank.

Scrum-half James Leadbeater starts at full-back while a pair of Dragons start either side of hooker Andrew Brown in the front row.

Nathan Williams makes his second appearance of the season for the Black and Ambers at loosehead while Cork native Tim Ryan plays against his compatriots at tighthead with Alex Jeffries unable to start.

He has made a superb start to the season after being thrown in at the deep end but is not allowed to play in the front row under British and Irish Cup rules as he is just 17.

Newport : J Leadbeater, A Hewitt, G O'Driscoll, W Richards, T Chavhanga, T Hancock, R Downes, N Williams, A Brown, T Ryan, R Jones, A Frampton, S Waldron, C Attwell (captain), R Coombs. Replacements: J Jeune, D Mathews, D Rosser, B Lampitt, A Awcock, E Frewen, A Quick

Tough task for Bedwas

Bedwas have rung the changes for their British and Irish Cup debut against a Bedford side that are hot favourites to win their group.

The Bridge Field outfit hand debuts to flanker Tom Organ and lock Chris Bundy while they are without centre Jack Dixon, who has proved an influential figure in midfield.

The teenager is set to make his European debut for the Dragons at Wasps in the Amlin Challenge Cup this evening.

Points machine Richard Powell returns at fly-half to try to orchestrate the downfall of a Bedford side that sit in second place in the English Championship and who are yet to be beaten this season.

Bedwas: S Thomas, R Budina, I Smerdon, R Wardle, R Owen, R Powell, T Rowlands, D Preece, R Hutcherson, M Petit, P Rees, C Bundy, T Organ, J Benjamin, D Mattravers (captain). Replacements: I George, E Dee, J Thomas, S Feehan, J Davies, E Davies, M John.