DRAGONS duo Will Talbot-Davies and Owen Jenkins will make their Newport RFC debuts at Merthyr in the bid to secure a home Premiership Cup knockout clash (kick-off 1pm).

The pair are charged with following the lead of impressive academy wing Oli Andrew by providing a cutting edge out wide for the Black and Ambers, who are setting the pace in the east group.

Andrew was named as the club’s player of the month for September and the 18-year-old played for the Dragons A against the Scarlets last weekend thanks to his Newport record of three tries in five games.

The Black and Ambers will hope to profit from the pair of Wales Sevens internationals being keen to prove a point to Dragons boss Dean Ryan after being on the sidelines in professional rugby.

Talbot-Davies, 24, continues his return from a knee injury suffered in the Champions Cup loss to Bordeaux-Begles last December while 26-year-old Jenkins hasn’t featured this season.

They join forces with livewire Dai Richards in the back three while Will Reed returns at fly-half with captain Matt O’Brien shifting back to inside centre.

There are five changes in the pack with Lewis Smout, Will Griffiths and Garin Harris getting the nod in the front row, Elliot Ferriman coming into the second row and Rhys Jenkins returning at blindside.

Newport will secure a top-top finish and a home quarter-final against western opposition if they avoid defeat at the Wern.

They currently lead the group and have a two-point lead over Cardiff with Merthyr eight back.

The Black and Ambers have some margin for error but will be keen to secure a home tie ahead of next weekend’s derby against Ebbw Vale.

Head coach Ty Morris will also been looking for a response from his side after their six-game winning streak was ended by RGC at Spytty Park.

Merthyr are fresh from giving Pontypridd a 61-32 hammering and are looking to avenge a 27-16 loss in Newport.

Newport: D Richards; O Jenkins, D Smith, M O’Brien (captain), W Talbot-Davies; W Reed, L Crane; L Smout, W Griffiths, G Harris, E Ferriman, J Skinner, R Jenkins, J Reid, B Roach.

Replacements: D Griffiths, M Dwyer, L Jones, V Kotobalavu, R Jones, R Downes, G Gladding, C Gullis.

- Former Newport and Wales prop Des Greenslade has died at the age of 88.

The front rower played 286 times for the Black and Ambers over eight seasons from 1955 to 1963.

Greenslade, who was a member of the Newport side that beat Australia 11-0 in 1957, was capped by Wales against Scotland in 1962 alongside Rodney Parade teammates Bryn Meredith and Brian Price and also represented the Barbarians and Crawshay’s.