NEWPORT have bolstered their midfield for the Principality Premiership with the signing of "no nonsense" centre Matt McGovern from Risca.

The 26-year-old will battle Tom Pascoe, Chay Smith, Adam Sabri and Haydn Palmer for the Black and Ambers' 12 and 13 jerseys.

McGovern played for Newport on permit in their fine Premiership win against Swansea last season when the management team rang the changes ahead of their WRU National Cup semi-final win against Llandovery.

Head coach Craig Warlow said: "Matt is a local player that we have been keeping a close eye on for a while.

"When playing for Newport on permit in the victory against Swansea we saw glimpses that suggested he had the physical attributes to really make the step up to Premiership standard.

"Matt will give us a 'no nonsense' direct game that will give our backline another option. We will look to use him in a number of ways both with and without ball in hand to create space for others.

"With the development of other parts of his game I am really excited about his potential to grow into his role at the club."

Forwards coach Ty Morris, who moved to Rodney Parade from Risca three years ago, added: "Matt has just come off the back of a very impressive season for Risca with his strong, dynamic carrying game.

"That was a huge factor in Risca's success last season. He has plenty of Championship experience playing previously for Bargoed, Ebbw Vale and Newbridge and we are looking forward to him bringing his style of play to the Premiership."