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
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.