NEWPORT High School Rugby Academy and the Black and Ambers have strengthened their partnership to help the next generations flourish.

Newport RFC, in conjunction with the Friends of Newport Trust, support grassroots rugby in the city, offering financial assistance to local schools, clubs, and junior sections.

Newport High, who have the FoNR logo on their jerseys, have linked up with the Black and Ambers to identify and develop talent by sharing knowledge and experience.

The likes of Lennon Greggains, Josh Reynolds, Tom Workman, Dafydd Buckland, Will Reed and George Young have come through the school’s production line in recent years under former Dragons and Wales lock Rob Sidoli before going onto play for Newport.

Dray Jack-Griffin and Louis Pullen are the latest graduates into the Black and Ambers’ first team with the club aiming to provide chances for talent to flourish at semi-professional level.

South Wales Argus: Newport RFC's Daf Buckland and Ty MorrisNewport RFC's Daf Buckland and Ty Morris (Image: Simon Latham for Newport RFC)

“In my eight seasons with Newport RFC, we’ve established strong connections with junior teams in Newport and the surrounding areas,” said head coach Ty Morris.

“It’s crucial for both myself and the club to foster these relationships, providing a development pathway for players who may not fit into regional age grades or those who discover rugby later in their careers.

“I’m particularly excited about collaborating with Rob and his team at Newport High to design a comprehensive development program, catering not only to players in junior leagues but also those in local schools.

“Our mission at Newport Rugby Club is to forge a rugby pathway, offering individuals the opportunity to reach the pinnacle of high-performance professional rugby.

“With our solid relationship at Newport High School, I’m confident in our ability to achieve this moving forward.”

The link-up isn’t limited to action on the field with the partnership helping in areas such as strength and conditioning, analysis, physiotherapy, social media, sports massage and marketing.

Sidoli, who played 119 times for the Dragons and won 42 caps, said: “Friends of Newport Trust and Newport RFC have always supported the Newport High School rugby academy and over the years have aligned a clear route for young aspiring players to continue their journey of rugby development.

“Their values are aligned to ours at the academy and they recognise the value of the development of the individual at both academic and rugby levels.

“The new Gareth Lewis Bursary Foundation that is linked to Cardiff Metropolitan University allows for players who love the game to specialise in other areas such as strength and conditioning, social media, analysis etc and we look forward to seeing that program strengthen with new outlets at Newport RFC.

“The environment at Newport High is evolving and the new 4G pitch is evidence of that.

“The key to any development program is the environment and the overall provision of Newport High Rugby Academy and Newport RFC will look to enhance that and ensure that Gwent has one of the best talent identification and development programs in Wales.”

- Former Newport back Neil Brown, who helped the club to Welsh Cup glory against Cardiff in 1977, has died at the age of 70.

Brown played 106 times for the Black and Ambers between 1975 and 1980, often at centre alongside British and Irish Lions David Burcher and Gareth Evans.

The pair were famously missing for the 1977 showdown with the Blue and Blacks at the National Stadium due to the Lions tour to New Zealand but Brown & Co triumphed 16-15.