NEWPORT RFC boss Ty Morris is ready to soak in the “fantastic feeling” of being at Rodney Parade tonight as talks continue about playing games away from the famous ground.

The Black and Ambers are poised to host the majority of their home fixtures at Spytty Park but they are on familiar territory this evening.

Newport welcome Cardiff, who remain fierce rivals despite the professional side dropping Blues from their name, to the city centre in the Premiership Cup (kick-off 7.15pm).

The venue for other encounters in 2021/22 will be announced soon but Rodney Parade will be used sparingly, making the opener even more special.

The Black and Ambers sold their ground to the Welsh Rugby Union in 2017 as part of the governing body’s takeover of the Dragons.

Costs to keep playing there are steep plus they are third in the pecking order behind Newport County AFC and the professional rugby team.

“How many games we will have at Rodney Parade, I am unsure of at the moment,” admitted Morris. “All we’ve got to focus on is that it’s a fabulous ground and amazing conditions to play in.

“It will be great under floodlights on a Friday night, you just get a fantastic feeling every time that you walk down the side.

“You don’t even need a big crowd there to feel the passion and emotion that the boys have when they run out on that field. I am really looking forward to getting back there.”

Newport will hope the famous surroundings inspire a big performance after they kicked off the tournament with a defeat at Pontypridd.

They rallied for a consolation bonus point but the performance was as disappointing as the 19-16 loss.

The Black and Ambers know they will have to be considerably better to compete with a Cardiff side who hammered RGC 60-5.

“Pre-season built nicely with us beating Swansea University, Aberavon and Bridgend but this was one of those games where we just couldn’t hang onto the ball. There were handling mistakes, we lost it in contact and it was one thing after another,” he said.

“The boys know they are better than they showed out there and that was the main chat after the game. We didn’t live up to expectations and hopefully we can put in a performance on Friday that pleases our supporters.

“It was a hugely disappointing start but hopefully we will rectify that, and we will need to against a strong Cardiff side.”


RIVALS: Matt OBrien and Newport will lock horns with Cardiff at Rodney Parade

RIVALS: Matt O'Brien and Newport will lock horns with Cardiff at Rodney Parade


The Blue and Blacks were poised to win the Premiership before the pandemic led to the cancellation of the campaign.

“They have picked up where they left off before Covid and will be up there at the end of the season, that’s for sure,” said Morris.

“They are potent in attack and clinical, coming away with points every time they go into the scoring zone.”

Newport’s list of absentees has grown to 16 with centre Jack Brooks (broken hand) and lock Andrew Mann (broken foot) both set to be out for six weeks.

“It’s an opportunity for other boys to show what they are about,” said Morris. “In order to compete you need strength in depth and we are definitely being tested early doors.”

Newport field a pair of playmakers, bringing in Dragons academy fly-half Will Reed and shifting Matt O'Brien to inside centre.

Newport: G Gladding; E Frewen, D Smith, M O'Brien, O Andrews; W Reed, R Downes; L Smout, W Griffiths, L Jones, J Bartlett, J Skinner, L Greggains, J Reid, B Roach.
Replacements: H Palmer, J Jeune, T Piper, E Ferriman, R Jones, L Crane, C Gullis, M Powell.