NEWPORT and Ebbw Vale have postponed Saturday's Premiership fixtures because of the ban on sporting crowds.

The Black and Ambers and Steelmen had been scheduled to play Merthyr and Llanelli respectively.

However, the crowds at Spytty Park and Eugene Cross Park would have been limited to 50 under Welsh government restrictions.

That has led the pair to push the fixtures back until later in the campaign.

Newport are supposed to return to action on January 22 when they entertain Bridgend in the Premiership Cup quarter-finals.

The Gwent clubs are next in league action at the end of the month when Ebbw head to Cardiff on January 27, two days before the Black and Ambers travel to Llandovery.

The Steelmen have played just one fixture since the return of Jason Strange and the head coach has already made some changes to the squad.

Stalwart Ross Jones was about to come out of retirement, which he announced in June, to play for Pontypool in the Championship but the loosehead prop will instead return to Ebbw.

He is joined in signing up by 23-year-old back rower Alex Howe (Cross Keys), 21-year-old hooker Harry Bee (Blaenavon) and centre Ollie Andrews (Penallta).

Leaving the Steelmen are fly-half Lewis K Williams, who has been troubled by a back issue, and back rower Scott Parsons due to work commitments.