THE Dragons will play their first league fixture in Ebbw Vale when they entertain Edinburgh in the Guinness PRO14 next month.

The region are moving the February 23 clash against the Conference B play-off hopefuls to Eugene Cross Park from their Rodney Parade home (kick-off 7.30pm).

The Dragons stated that two games would be played away from Newport when they started selling season tickets last summer, one at Principality Stadium as part of Judgement Day and another at a ground in the region.

That will be a first regular season game in Ebbw Vale; the home of the Steelmen has hosted pre-season friendlies against Northampton in 2014 and Glasgow in August.

South Wales Argus:

“We want every part of the region to be a home of the Dragons, so playing at different clubs helps us reach out to all our communities and we are all extremely excited about taking this game on the road,” said executive chairman David Buttress.

“We feel passionately that we are the team for all of Gwent and are committed long-term to playing across the region. “When scheduling our fixtures we had to make a decision about where in the region we wanted to play and Ebbw Vale matched the demands of the criteria.

“It will prove to be a fantastic occasion, I’ve no doubt about that. I’m know the rugby-loving public in Ebbw Vale and locally will turn out to back the Dragons in numbers.

“It’ll also be a great occasion for the local players, who will be representing their home towns and who have the valley connection.”

Last season the Dragons were forced to go on the road to Caerphilly when their PRO12 finale against Cardiff Blues clashed with Newport County’s League Two encounter with Notts County.

There are logistical challenges to overcome but moving the February date with Edinburgh – which is on the eve of Wales’ Six Nations fixture in Ireland – should mean there is not the major financial hit that there was for the Blues derby.

It will also take some of the strain off the new £750,000 hybrid pitch that is home to the Dragons, Newport RFC and County.

“The Gwent valleys are a vital part of the Dragons region, and it’s massively important to us that not only do the local community share that feeling, but the guys selected for that game understand what us playing the game there means to those people,” said head coach Bernard Jackman.

Jon Jones, chairman of the Steelmen, said: “All at Ebbw Vale RFC are delighted to see the return of competitive professional rugby at Eugene Cross Park allowing the rugby supporters in the area to once again see high level professional rugby on its doorstep.

“The club is delighted to see the Dragons embracing the northern end of the region and looks forward to seeing Bernard Jackman’s team in town. We are sure that this will be a great occasion.”

Season ticket holders that currently have a reserved seat at Rodney Parade will be given priority access to unreserved seating at Ebbw Vale for the match.

Match tickets will be on sale from 10am on Tuesday with adult tickets priced from £10 at early bird prices.