CROSS Keys have gone with Iwan Burgwin at fly-half for today’s big Gwent derby against Ebbw Vale in the Principality Premiership, as former Pandy Park prop Corey Hewlett gets ready to make his Pontypool debut after joining the Championship leaders.

Keys host the Steelmen (kick-off 2.30pm) eager to pick up much-needed points in their fight to stave off relegation from the top flight to the second tier, which unbeaten Pooler currently head.

After last Friday’s narrow defeat to Cardiff, Keys make a couple of changes to their starting XV for this afternoon’s game, as well as several positional alterations.

In the pack, the front row remains the same with Dragons prop Nicky Thomas again starting on the tighthead.

The only other change in the pack sees lock Tom Lampard start in place of Elis Hopkins, with skipper Damian Welch moving to the back row.

Burgwin takes his place at 10 with Jacob Botica unavailable, while Carwyn Penny switches to full-back, Leon Andrews partners Tiaan Loots in the midfield and Srdan Majkic is on the wing.

Ebbw have brought Dragons wing Dafydd Howells into their starting line-up, and Morgan Davies comes in on permit from Beaufort to be among the replacements.

One man who isn’t at Pandy Park any longer is Hewlett following confirmation of his departure to promotion-chasing Pooler.

Hewlett spent three-and-a-half years at Keys, making 37 appearances after his debut back in November 2015.

The 21-year-old boosts Pooler’s options at loosehead with Jamie Jeune only returning from a serious knee injury in late December and Aaron Coundley being relied on for much of the past year.

Hewlett played for the Dragons at under-16 and under-18 level and believes he will improve as a player at Pontypool Park.

He said: “I was attracted to Pooler by its ambition. Everyone is well aware of the club’s desire to return to the Principality Premiership and they are leaving no stone unturned as they seek to achieve their goal.

“I like the style of rugby the club plays and I know a lot of the boys in the squad already, and that played a part in my decision.

“I was coached by Matthew Jones at Cross Keys College and I look forward to working with him again and also the other coaches at the club.”

Jones added: “Corey is a committed lad. Once he’s involved in something, he will give 100 per cent and he is highly regarded for his scrummaging.

“To have that extra body in the front row is really important for us as we approach the business end of the season. He will learn a lot from working with Aaron and Jamie and I’m sure the three of them will push each other for that starting spot, which can only be a good thing for the club.”

Hewlett will make his debut for Pooler today when they host Newcastle Emlyn, while Newbridge entertain Maesteg Quins.

Back in the Premiership, Bargoed go to Llanelli and Newport host RGC 1404 tomorrow.

Bargoed (at Llanelli): J Purcell; J Bunyan (capt), B Nightingale, D Humphries, A Norton; J Prosser, J Leadbeater; R Morgan, R Buckley, A Gardner-Key, G Edmunds, J Locke, G Rogers, C Davies, L Blacker. Reps: M Bancroft, C Jones, D Dyer, A Coupe, A Gibson, K Bale, L Lippiett, M Kavanagh.

Cross Keys (home to Ebbw Vale): C Penny; W Cunliffe, L Andrews, T Loots, S Majkic; I Burgwin, J Guy; R Cornock, R Jenkins, N Thomas, S Andrews, T Lampard, D Welch (capt), G Price, I Jones. Reps: G Carpenter, T Hansen, S Hoskins, J Thomas, E Hopkins, D Fidler, O Leonard, R Budina.

Ebbw Vale (at Cross Keys): D Haymond; D Howells, D Franchi, D Langdon, T Fricker; Rh Jones, D Jones; J Franchi, R Sevenoaks, K Parker, A Sweet (capt), R Clarke, O Young, L Young. Reps: R Francis, L Garrett, M Davies, C Regan, L Evans, M Flanagan, P King, S Thomas.