Simon Raiwalui and Adrian Garvey will start in the Newport Rugby pack that turns out against Welsh National League Division Three East club Abergavenny at Rodney Parade on Friday, 1 March (kick-off 7.30pm)The black and ambers were looking for a fixture to bridge the gap between last weekend's Principality Cup victory at Bonymaen and their next
Welsh/Scottish League game against title rivals Glasgow next weekend. Promotion candidates Abergavenny were invited to take up the challenge and their coach, the former Newport favourite Keith James, willingly accepted. It means a return to Rodney Parade for the former Wales B stand-off who played 262 games for the club and ended as a coaching partner to the current team manager, Jim McCreedy.
"It's great that Abergavenny have agreed to come to Rodney Parade to play against us. We need to keep our momentum going because we have some crucial league games coming up against Glasgow and Ebbw Vale," said McCreedy.
"I know that Abergavenny, just like Bonymaen in the cup last weekend, will give us a tough time, and that is exactly what we are looking for. We've picked a strong side and it's good to have a full squad to pick from once more.
"Shane Howarth, Alix Popham, Nathan Brew, Emyr Lewis, Rod Snow and Martyn Llewellyn are all fully fit and all bar Shane and Rod will start the game on Friday night. The other two are listed among our relacements.
"Ian McIntosh, our coach, found that the international series in November halted the progress of the side. The same happened at the start of the Six Nations.
"That's why we need a game to keep the players sharp and ready for the challenges that lie ahead in both the Welsh/Scottish League and in our defence of the Principality Cup."
Tickets for the game are Å"3 for adults and Å"1 for children. Full bar facilities will be available in the clubhouse and one bar will be open in the ground. There will be limited parking at the clubhouse.
NEWPORT RUGBY: Emyr Lewis; Martyn Llewellyn, Nathan Brew, Scott Williams, Ben Breeze; Jason Strange, Dale Burn; Ceri Jones, Paul Young, Adrian Garvey, Simon Raiwalui (captain), Joe Powell, Jason Forster, Gareth Gravell, Alix Popham.Replacements (from); Rod Snow, James Richards, Adam Jones, Ian Hughes, David Pattison, Matt Pini, Shane Howarth, Ofisa Tonu'u, James Rowles.
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.