NEWPORT number eight Andrew Powell (pictured) reaches another landmark tomorrow night -- his first appearance against Cardiff.

Powell has made his debut for Wales A and has continued his under-21 career, as well as establishing himself in the Newport team this season, though he is still only 20. Cardiff at the Arms Park is another step. "I've never played there before at this level. It's a big thing and a big challenge for me," said Powell.

"I'm looking forward to the task, they're a quality side with a lot of key players and we'll have to close them down."

Powell paid tribute to two people, one from each camp -- Cardiff opposite number Emyr Lewis and Newport coach Ian McIntosh.

"Emyr Lewis is a class player who has come back from a back operation which not many could. And he's playing some of the best rugby of his career.

"Mac could see I could read the game. There's no point committing yourself to rucks and mauls, he lets me play my own game instead of concentrating on the set pieces. "To have a coach of that standard is out of this world. He has put in the team spirit and the gelling together as a unit."

Powell is so satisfied with his progress at Newport that he signed a new three-year contract.

"They've given me a chance and they've been good to me, so I had to pay them back by signing on. It's been a superb club for me," he said.

"I was surprised jumping into the big time at the start and though I've adapted to the situation I still wake up some mornings thinking 'how has it come to this'?" Powell's style has not always suited the Wales A management, and he pleads for continuity.

"Lee Jarvis should have gone up to the senior squad last week, but they put Nicky Robinson there instead," he said. "I'm happy with the Under-21s, to swap around is contradictory. Players don't know what they've done wrong."

Powell also believes teammate Jason Strange should move up to A level. "He needs a chance, he's fresh and he's got a lot to offer," he said. Slight injury doubts Jonathan Pritchard and Chris Anthony have passed fitness tests and take their place in the side at Cardiff.