Former New Zealand scrum half Ofisa Tonu'u makes his long awaited return to
the Newport side for their Celtic League clash with Glasgow at Rodney Parade on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm).
Tonu'u put his injured knee to the test by playing for 34 minutes in the 21-16 defeat at Pontypridd last weekend and now feels ready to make his first start of the season.
"Ofisa has worked very hard on rehabilitating his knee and maintaining his fitness. It's good to have him back and he is fit and raring to go," said Newport Rugby team manager Jim McCreedy.
"Our injury problems are beginning to ease and it has been good for the morale of the squad to see Ofisa declare himself fully fit, Rod Snow return from international duty with Canada and Ian Gough make himself available for full training.
"Things are definitely moving forward and now all we need is a win to cement
our progress and boost confidence."
Tonu'u is one of four changes from the side that played at Pontypridd. Matt Mostyn is set to return on the right wing ahead of Nathan Palmer, who scored a try on his debut as a late replacement for the Irish international wing, while Paul Young and Chris Anthony start in the front row.
While Newport lead 3-2, with one draw, in the series of league matches against Glasgow, including a double last season, the Scottish side are one of the most improved teams in the Celtic League this season.
Their stunning away win at Cardiff was followed by a home win over champions
Leinster to keep them neck and neck with Bridgend at the top of Pool B.
"Glasgow have obviously prepared well for the season and have made a great start. They were semi-finalists in the Celtic League last year and are aiming even higher this season under their new coach Kiwi Searancke," said McCreedy.
NEWPORT RUGBY: Shane Howarth; Matt Mostyn/Nathan Palmer, Hal Luscombe, Andy Marinos, Andrew Wagstaff; Jason Strange, Ofisa Tonu'u; Ceri Jones, Paul
Young, Chris Anthony, Simon Raiwalui (captain), Mike Voyle, Steve Ojomoh,
Jason Forster, Andrew Powell.
Replacements: Rod Snow, James Richards, Matthew Veater, Alix Popham, Jon
Pritchard, Matt Pini, Dale Burn.
PREVIOUS LEAGUE MEETINGS WITH GLASGOW
Season Score Tries Res Score Tries Res
1999-00 64-29 (10-5) W
8-8 (1-1) D
2000-01 6-27 (0-4) L
20-28 (2-3) L
2001-02 55-5 (9-1) W
28-26 (3-3) W
P W D L F A Tries
3 2 0 1 125 61 19-10
3 1 1 1 56 62 6-7
6 3 1 2 181 123 25-17
Whenever Bedlinog tackle Penallta a massive fixure is guaranteed but this Sunday there will be even more emphasis placed on the two rivals when they contest the SSE Swalec Plate final at Principality Stadium.
Ahead of their SSE SWALEC Bowl Final clash with Taffs Well at Principality Stadium on Sunday, Burry Port share their #FABXV nomination with WRUTV in the search for Welsh rugby's greatest volunteers. Everyone can get involved by sending nominations via twitter to @WRU_Community using the hashtag #FABXV
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SWALEC ambassador Shane WIlliams is looking forward to Sunday's Finals Day where the Cup, Bowl and Plate offers a great opportunity for players and teams to experience the magic of playing at Principality Stadium
Carmarthen Quins coach Richard Kelly believes it is an exciting time to be part of the Scarlets region as his side take on local rivals Llandovery in the SSE Swalec Cup final on Sunday, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
Scarlets long serving prop Phil John talks to WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie about Judgement Day IV and SSE Swalec Cup finals day. The last time Llandovery were in the cup final in 2007, the Drovers claimed the spoils with Phil playing a major role in the engine room.
Meet Aberdare coach Luke Thomas whose #FABXV nomination goes to super volunteer Daz with a whopping 10 things he does for the club each week, all except the ironing! You can also join in the search for Welsh rugby's greatest volunteers, by sending your nomination via twitter to @WRU_Community using the hashtag #FABXV
SSE Swalec Cup kings Pontypridd travelled to Swansea, fully expecting a return to their second home but Llandovery had other ideas as they also sought victory in the semi-final to earn the right to play the final at Principality Stadium