EAST plays west for the first time this season in the Principality Premiership tomorrow afternoon with Ebbw Vale entertaining Llanelli.

The revamped league was split into two geographical conferences for 14 fixtures this season.

The two table-toppers were rewarded with eight points for phase two and second place got seven all the way down to bottom club carrying through a single point.

East has now joined west for the rest of the campaign with the 16 clubs playing each other home OR away for the title. Top spot triumphs, there will be no play-offs.

However, the opening weekend of the united league sees just two east against west tussles with the Steelmen welcoming Llanelli to Eugene Cross Park and Bargoed travelling to the Gnoll to face Neath.

It has been a transitional season for Ebbw and that will continue into the New Year when head coach Greg Woods takes the reins after announcing his departure from Gwent foes Cross Keys.

The Steelmen finished with just Bargoed beneath them to head into phase two with a pair of points but they ended on a high by beating Bedwas 33-17 last weekend with popular former coaches Jason Strange and Ceri Jones returning on a temporary basis to help out.

They will try and enjoy that winning feeling against versus a Llanelli side who finished fifth in the west with a record of six wins and eight defeats.

Last season the teams met just one with then-champions Ebbw edged out 24-22 at Parc y Scarlets.

It’s round three in this season’s famous battle between Newport and Cardiff at Rodney Parade with the Black and Ambers determined to avoid a whitewash.

The Blue and Blacks won 31-19 in Newport in August and then 37-22 in October, a brace that helped them pip Craig Warlow’s men to fourth spot by three points.

The Black and Ambers have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous so far this term and will hope to respond to a disappointment against Keys last week when beaten 32-24 on home soil, a loss that put an end to any hopes of pipping Cardiff to fourth.

Keys and Bedwas complete a hat-trick of fixtures against the top two, the former travelling to eastern ‘champs’ Merthyr and the latter heading to Sardis Road to face Pontypridd.

The men from Pandy Park finished an inconsistent phase one on a high when they beat Newport and will be keen to put in a big display to head into next weekend’s home round one WRU National Cup clash with Ponty in fine fettle.

Keys will need to produce a performance similar to the one from August at the Wern when they were edged out 31-29 by the Ironmen, who are favourites to retain their Premiership crown.

Bedwas had a super first phase to finish third, albeit they go into this weekend on the back of a defeat to Ebbw in a dead rubber.

Ian Gardner’s side produced a stunning display at Sardis on opening weekend when they beat Ponty 39-27 thanks to tries by wing Matthew John, fly-half Steffan Jones, back rowers Morgan Allen and Andrew Waite and hooker Ellis Shipp.

That was the club’s first ever win at ‘The House of Pain’ but Ponty got their revenge at Bridge Field in October with a comprehensive 37-15 win.

Bargoed propped up the east with two wins from 14 games and they travel to face a Neath side that was bottom in the west with three successes.

Last season the Bulls were beaten by the Blacks 13-10 on home soil but got revenge 36-29 out west in April.

Fixtures: Carmarthen Quins v Swansea, Ebbw Vale v Llanelli, Llandovery v Aberavon, Merthyr v Cross Keys, Neath v Bargoed, Newport v Cardiff, Pontypridd v Bridgend.