THE Dragons and Newport County AFC have clubbed together to hire a dome cover in a bid to beat the frost for this weekend’s derby and FA Cup double-header at Rodney Parade.

The Exiles had two League Two games postponed last week with torrential rain leading to their clash with Exeter being off because of a waterlogged surface before the meeting with Southend fell victim to a frozen pitch.

The club can ill afford a repeat on Sunday when they welcome Premier League club Brighton and Hove Albion to Rodney Parade for a third round tie in the FA Cup (kick-off 7.45pm).

BT Sport have chosen County’s bid for another giantkilling for live coverage, meaning another big pay day for the club.

The game has been given the Sunday night slot and that makes it a busy weekend for the hard-working groundstaff.

The Dragons have home advantage on Saturday when they entertain the Ospreys in the Guinness PRO14 (kick-off 5.15pm).

With the surface in mind, the decision was made to bring in the cover to limit the potential impact of rain and frost.

A yellow weather warning has been issued for ice because of plunging temperatures in Wales, so the Parade pitch will be under cover.

The dome has been put up ahead of the Dragons fixture and will be erected again soon after the final whistle on Saturday night.

South Wales Argus: Dragons and County hire dome cover to protect Parade from frostDragons and County hire dome cover to protect Parade from frost

Mark Jones, Dragons managing director, said: "We’re working closely together with Newport County AFC to invest in the dome and ensure we do absolutely everything we can to protect the playing surface.

"With freezing temperatures and potentially snow forecast in the coming days it was vital we took action. Our thanks go to our partners and staff for their outstanding efforts throughout this week.

"It’s a big weekend of sport in Newport and we hope the installation of the dome will ensure supporters can look forward to watching both the Dragons and County in action."

County general manager Nigel Stephenson said: "Ahead of two exciting fixtures for the city this weekend, we’re pleased to be working with Dragons Rugby to ensure the pitch is in the best condition possible.

"We're very grateful to the Rodney Parade groundstaff and our partners for their work in deploying the dome, and will be hoping for two positive results this weekend."

Covers were previously used for County’s FA Cup fixtures against Plymouth Argyle and Blackburn Rovers in 2016.