NEWPORT RFC will play their first game at Spytty Park tomorrow afternoon but a long-term deal is yet to be sealed for it to be their second home.

It was announced on Wednesday that the Black and Ambers had come to an agreement with the Dragons about shifting some of their fixtures from Rodney Parade.

Newport will play a minimum of two games at their historic home, which they sold to the Welsh Rugby Union in 2017, for free.

The club hosted Cardiff in the city centre last month but will welcome Merthyr to the International Sports Village tomorrow (kick-off 2.30pm).

However, there is currently no arrangement in place for Newport Stadium (Spytty Park) to be their home in the long-term and talks continue with Newport Live.

The charitable trust operate the facility and chief executive Steve Ward has stressed they need to ensure the Black and Ambers' arrival won't affect other users.

South Wales Argus: Newport Stadium (picture: MAC MORGAN)Newport Stadium (picture: MAC MORGAN)

"Newport Stadium has been a principal base for part of Newport County's training along with Dragon Park, Newport City play their matches there and Newport Harriers are key partners," he said.

"We've got to maximise use of that stadium and Newport RFC came up on the map. There was the obvious question about the ability of the pitch to sustain such a use, but we've been working with the team at Rodney Parade and are confident the pitch can be used.

"At the moment Newport RFC will play a number of matches there and we will evaluate the status of the pitch after that.

"We are working on an agreement with Newport RFC but we need to be confident at Newport Live that it's sustainable and that pitch will be in good enough condition to allow the professional football team to train on there, for the rugby team to compete on there, for Newport City to play on there and get athletics there in the summer months.

"It's a real challenge but we are trying to maximise opportunities for all these clubs when there aren't huge numbers of outdoor facilities in the city."

The Black and Ambers are working on a booking basis and a deal has not yet been signed for long-term use, with Newport Live assessing what increased work on the pitch will cost.

"Ideally we want good-quality sport played in the city and there are only two stadia," said Ward.

"On one hand it makes absolute sense to utilise a space like that for competition because it's got spectator facilities, amenities and car parking, everything they need.

"But we have also got to make sure other clubs and sports in the city can utilise the space.

"We are certainly as committed to supporting Newport County as we have been, this doesn't change that. It's another user and we have to make sure the grass pitch can take the amount of traffic.

"We will be continuing to talk to Newport RFC and making sure Newport County are aware of what is happening because they are a client of ours who use the grass pitches, the 3G pitches, swimming pools, indoor spaces and gyms for strength and conditioning.

"We get Olympic teams coming to us and next year is the Commonwealth Games; we get high-performance teams wanting to use the site so we know it is a good place and have to make sure it can work.

"It's in all of our interests to get sport performing incredibly well in the city."

Newport host Pontypridd, RGC and Ebbw Vale in the Premiership Cup before the league starts in December.

County caretaker boss Wayne Hatswell feels that the arrival of rugby will affect his team’s preparations, but that it’s preferable to the new Rodney Parade surface being put under stress.

“In Newport it rains quite a bit, then add rugby to it and you saw the pitch at Rodney Parade last season,” he said.

“It will [affect our training], we’ve got to come up with contingency plans, but it’s better it’s on our training pitch than Rodney Parade because we don’t get awarded any points at our training ground and we can make mistakes there.

“We are moving from one problem to another but it’s more important that Rodney Parade is good.”