Newport facing a must-win showdown
2:15pm Friday 4th October 2013 in Gwent Rugby
NO one needs to tell Newport just how important a victory is for them tomorrow at home to Swansea after their winless start to the season.
This game is a massive one for the club after four competitive defeats on the bounce.
The All Whites have shown signs of improvement after finishing bottom of the pile in last season’s ring-fenced Principality Premiership and they have a decent scrum, an area of concern for the Black and Ambers last week.
But Newport have the personnel and the ability to end their barren spell this afternoon when the two clash at Rodney Parade.
There are four changes from the side who valiantly but vainly lost away to double league and cup champions Pontypridd last Sunday.
Geraint O'Driscoll is struggling with an ankle injury and is due to be replaced at full back by Tom James who impressed on the wing last week and scored his side’s second try in a 38-18 defeat.
Ashton Hewitt comes in instead of James, James Leadbeater starts at scrum half after he replaced Andrew Quick against Ponty and Ethan Davies is in for Matt O’Brien at outside half.
There’s just one change in the the pack, Gethin Robinson replacing Alex Jeffries at tighthead prop.
Dale Rogers makes his third consecutive start at hooker while Newport Gwent Dragons fly half Lewis Robling is set for his first appearance of the season from the bench as is prop James Monck.
Swansea's side contain Sam Davies, Wales Under-20s' 2013 International Rugby Board young player of the year, at outside half and Wales international Dan Baker, the number eight playing in the drawn 1-1 series with Japan this summer.
Cross Keys make no fewer than ten changes from the side which started their impressive 29-13 victory over Llandovery at Pandy Park last week.
Aaron Bramwell comes in at full back with Nathan Williams and James Cordy-Redden are on the wings, Luke Williams and Phil Williams in the centre and Ryan James at scrum half.
Adam Powell skippers the side at number which sees Anthony ‘Vinny’ Lott back on the tighthead, Ollie Hodge partnering his brother Dan at lock while Dragons back rower Jevon Groves is on the blindside and Rhys Peebles on the open.
Keys have one eye on next weekend’s British and Irish Cup tie at home to Moseley when they travel to Carmarthen Quins tomorrow.
Head coach Greg Woods is giving several players the chance to stake their place for that encounter with the Birmingham side and the trip to London to face Ealing Trailfinders seven days later.
The Quins are unbeaten in the league this season and will be tough to beat but Keys could well change that.
Newport: T James, A Hewitt, D Robinson, T Morgan, E Frewen, E Davies, J Leadbeater, D Pattison, D Rogers, G Robinson, A Brown, A Frampton, S Waldron, C Attwell, L Beach (capt). Replacements: A Brown, N Williams, J Monck, O Griffiths, A Quick, L Robling, D Franchi, D Rosser.
Swansea: J Hamer, A Claypole, A Jenkins, D Watts, R Williams, S Davies, J Cole, T Sloane, P John, A Mason, T Price, R Hughes, R D Jones, M Davies (capt), Dan Baker.
Cross Keys: A Bramwell, N Williams, L Williams, P Williams, J Cordy-Redden, D Jones, R James, R Cornock, G Price, A Lott, D Hodge, O Hodge, J Groves, A Powell (capt), R Peebles. Replacements: L Garrett, D Hughes, T Lampard, R Tucker, R Dyer, A O’Brien, N Trowbridge, C Driscoll.
Comments are closed on this article.