GWENT'S Premiership duo won't play until mid-January at the earliest after Ebbw Vale's trip to Pontypridd was postponed.

The Steelmen had been scheduled to head to Sardis Road on Monday, January 3 but it will now be played later in the campaign.

Club rugby fixtures are being postponed because they would effectively have to be played behind closed doors with just 50 fans allowed under Welsh government rules.

Ebbw called off their televised derby against Newport at Eugene Cross Park on December 27 – a fixture that boosts the coffers – and the Black and Ambers’ trip to Swansea on Monday was postponed last week.

Ponty have now confirmed that they won’t host the Steelmen to start the new year.

“The decision has been made mutually between the clubs following the changing landscape of the public health situation relating to the Omicron variant of coronavirus, and the Welsh Government decision to force all sporting events in Wales to be played behind closed doors,” read a Pontypridd statement.

The Gwent pair are next scheduled to be in action on January 15 when they have home fixtures, Ebbw hosting Llanelli and Newport entertaining Merthyr.

Those fixtures will depend on the Welsh government's review of supporters being allowed in to sporting events.

There was no end date for the ban on fans and Newport County AFC are planning for their January 8 fixture against Salford at Rodney Parade to be behind closed doors.

Newport are also set to host Bridgend in the quarter-finals of the Premiership Cup at Spytty Park on Saturday, January 22.

The Welsh Rugby Union’s leagues had already been hit by a raft of postponements due to Covid outbreaks in squads.

Levels below the Premiership are on a scheduled break and the Championship is meant to return on Saturday, January 8 when the Gwent quartet are all on their travels.

Pontypool are scheduled to visit Cardiff Met, Cross Keys head to Neath, Bargoed are entertained by Maesteg Quins and Bedwas face Tata Steel.

They will all have to make decisions about home fixtures for the first time when they host rivals on Saturday, January 22.