COMEDIAN Elis James neatly summed up the magnitude of what is to come in Newport with a Tweet just minutes after County’s latest FA Cup upset.

“The idea of Man City having to play at Rodney Parade just made me laugh out loud,” wrote the Swansea supporter, who does a Welsh football podcast for the BBC.

“Stuff like that means the FA Cup is still a great competition. Sergio Aguero playing at the home of a regional rugby team.”

Rodney Parade has been home to some titans of rugby: Arthur Gould, Dai Watkins, Brian Price and Ken Jones to name just a few Newport legends, plus Taulupe Faletau, the greatest of the Dragons.

Stellar cricketers – Wally Hammond (with an innings of 302), Don Shepherd, Viv Richards, Michael Holding, Shane Warne – played there before the 1990 move to Spytty Park.

Just five weeks ago Alun Wyn Jones, Wales captain and one of his country’s finest ever players, was in the away changing room barking out some derby demands.

On the evening of Saturday, February 16 it could well be Vincent Kompany in there issuing a rallying call – it is now football that puts Rodney Parade on the map like no other sport can.

It is a wonderful ground, especially when the noise is booming on the Rodney Road side, and it is only natural for rugby supporters to have a tinge of jealousy at watching the wild scenes after wins against Leeds, Leicester and Middlesbrough, plus the famous draw against Tottenham.

Newport RFC fans have been deprived of those moments by regional rugby and Dragons supporters rarely get the chance to go bonkers in such fashion.

Rodney Parade was rocking when the Ospreys were beaten on December 30 but that was just a Guinness PRO14 derby success, not an occasion to rival those experienced by the Exiles.

South Wales Argus: WONDERFUL WIN: The Dragons beat the Ospreys in a terrific atmosphere in DecemberWONDERFUL WIN: The Dragons beat the Ospreys in a terrific atmosphere in December

The most recent mammoth rugby game in Newport was probably the 2015 Challenge Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues and even that thrilling win in Europe’s second tier was not played in front of a sell-out crowd.

The UK was watching when County beat Leicester and Boro and a clash with Pep Guardiola’s team will ensure the audience stretches beyond Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland.

County are representing Newport magnificently in a way that rugby cannot, with the Dragons an organisation that removed the city from its name while the Black and Ambers are one of the sport’s most iconic clubs but have been a victim of professionalism.

You can argue the toss about whether the Exiles beating Manchester City would be a bigger upset than Newport’s 1963 win against the All Blacks (surely not?!), but it will be an evening of civic pride regardless of the result.

And Michael Flynn & Co’s exploits are timely given that there has sometimes been the impression that football has been an annoyance to the Welsh Rugby Union since they bought Rodney Parade in the summer of 2017.

The deal for County to play at the famous ground runs until 2023 and that date will be with us before we know it.

The Exiles have their grumbles about some finer details of the arrangement but it’s not one that is particularly rewarding for the rugby side of operations either.

Nonetheless, it terrific to have football at Rodney Parade rather than Spytty Park and the cup runs have shown the value of County.

Such exploits don’t happen very often and it could well be that the next four years are spent without bumper crowds, or even worse given that every single League Two club starts in August with some nerves about no longer being part of the 92 the next year.

Hopefully the funds earned by County’s cup magic will provide the club with a contingency plan in case the WRU decide to be the bad guys (and Newport RFC will testify to the governing body being ruthless after they scented the bargain of the Rodney Parade site).

There must be a bean counter at the home of Welsh rugby, which now has a building society’s logo on the side of it, thinking about naming rights at a ground hosting games watched by millions.

But Newport needs to keep all three teams at the famous venue beyond 2023.

A thriving football team transforms the dynamic at the ground and at the moment it is the Exiles that are putting Rodney Parade, a grand ground full of sporting history, in the spotlight.

Wales still missing fantastic Faletau

South Wales Argus: WORLD CLASS: Injured number eight Taulupe Faletau is a shoo-in for Wales at the World CupWORLD CLASS: Injured number eight Taulupe Faletau is a shoo-in for Wales at the World Cup

IT wasn't a performance to start the Six Nations with bang; a chance to set the tone for the tournament was missed.

There no doubt would have been pledges to take the positives, learn the lessons and right the wrongs… but not from players, from those at the BBC who had the idea for a Scrum V segment with Gareth Thomas and Ian 'H' Watkins.

Their Gogglebox-inspired skit was a cringeworthy nightmare that will surely prompt a rethink. Maybe we won't get to see box-kicking with Carole Vorderman, the art of the overlap with Hale and Pace, jackaling with Wolf from Gladiators, or how to fill the back-field with Atomic Kitten.

But while the celebrity-obsessed Beeb were filming a horror show, Wales were narrowly avoiding one in Paris.

Warren Gatland's men did enough to get a win that keeps them right in the title mix given that England and Ireland must head to Cardiff.

At the heart of the effort in the Stade de France was a stunning back row performance with autumn absentee Josh Navidi picking up where he left off in 2017/18, Justin Tipuric producing yet another masterclass and Ross Moriarty putting in a huge effort in his first outing for seven weeks.

Their toil meant that Dragons flanker Aaron Wainwright only got a few minutes at the end, but that was still enough time to put in a thumping tackle that helped preserve the lead.

Wasps openside Thomas Young is set to get the chance to stake his claim for a World Cup spot against Italy on Saturday but he must know that the odds are long on him being one of Gatland's 31 for Japan.

The scrap is fierce and by my reckoning there are just three places up for grabs in the back row because Taulupe Faletau and Tipuric are shoo-ins.

The duo are world class and only injury can deprive them of selection, meaning that other back rowers cannot miss a beat between now and the summer.

Faletau has not played a Test since last year's Six Nations finale against France but he is a player with an appetite for work who can provide both sublime skill and the sort of brutality that made Ireland-England so engrossing.

His ability can transform the Wales XV and his return will leave even the likes of Moriarty and Navidi sweating on their World Cup spots, not to mention the others.