Holders Newport Ready To Mount Stern Defence Of Principality Cup
21 February 2002 15:09pm
Welsh/Scottish League leaders Newport are set and ready to start their defence of the Principality Cup with a tricky away tie against Division 1 side Bonymaen...
Before last year's successful campaign, it had been twenty four seasons since Newport last won the Cup, with a 16-15 win over Cardiff RFC in 1977. And the Black and Ambers are keen to retain the coveted trophey.
"The Principality Cup is very important to us. After tasting success last year we want to keep the bandwagon rolling," said Newport rugby team manager Jim McCreedy.
"We will be going to Morfa Stadium as a very very focused group. We know we have everything to lose and Bonymaen have everything to gain and we will be approaching the game in the same way as we have our Heineken Cup ties against Toulouse, Leinster and Newcastle.
"Nathan Brew comes in and Emyr Lewis is also back in the line up after recovering from a broken wrist. We are resting two of our Welsh players, Andy Marinos and Chris Anthony, but with Mike Voyle carrying an injury, and Del Cross also ruled out, Ian Gough has to start."
Newport club captain, Simon Raiwalui, the Fijian international lock said,
"We've got a lot of hard games coming up, starting with Bonymaen at the weekend, but we are feeling good as a squad and hoping to do well."
Newport Rugby: Matt Pini; Matt Mostyn, Nathan Brew, Matthew Watkins, Ben Breeze; Shane Howarth, Ofisa Tonu'u:Rod Snow, James Richards, Adrian Garvey, Simon Raiwalui (captain), Ian Gough, Peter Buxton, Jason Forster, Joe Powell. Replacements: Ceri Jones, Paul Young, Alix Popham, Gareth Gravell, Emyr Lewis, Jason Strange, Dale Burn.
Bonymaen v Newport: 23rd February 2002 kick off 2:30pm at the Morfa Stadium, Swansea
WRU International Skills Coach Jason Strange is a busy man, combining the new role with that of Wales Under 20 attack coach, Ebbw Vale head coach and continuing to teach at Ebbw Fawr Learning Community.
Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton look ahead to this week's crunch RBS 6 Nations tie against France, where the Wales skipper in particular is keen to make his mark, as Paris has proved a bleak place for him in the past.
Following their historic win over England, Wales Under 20 suffered a narrow, 36-34 loss to their Scottish counterparts last weekend, despite outscoring them by five tries to three. Watch the match highlights and reaction.
WRU TV go behind the scenes with the Wales squad as they put the final touches in place ahead of the clash against Scotland at Murrayfield. Follow the squad on their captain's run, the kickers visit to Murrayfield and Neil Jenkins' press conference