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Eight Changes For Welsh Premiership Opener

Eight Changes For Welsh Premiership Opener

After notching their first victory of the season against Borders in the Celtic League last weekend, Simon Raiwalui’s Newport side will be looking to kick-off their Welsh Premiership campaign with a victory against Caerphilly at Rodney Parade on Tuesday night (kick-off 7.30 pm).

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Head coach Leigh Jones has made eight changes to the side that beat the Borders 24-8. Shane Howarth, Luke Nabaro and Ofisa Tonu’u return to the back division, while it is all change in the front row, Mike Voyle returns to the second row and Jason Forster comes into the back row.

Newport head to Swansea on Saturday for their third game in a week when they meet the Whites in another Welsh Premiership fixture.

Missing from both games will be Wales Squad member Andy Marinos, who is in the National Sqaud for the BT Autumn Series of internationals, which start on Friday with a game against Romania.

Also ruled out of Tuesday night’s game against Caerphilly are hooker Paul Young and scrum half Dale Burn.

Head coach Leigh Jones said: ‘Getting our first win was an important step for the players, but it is only a start. We need to kick-off the Welsh Premiership in a positive fashion and the aim is to post two more wins this week.

‘We gave some of our younger players a chance against the Borders to prove to us they have got what it takes to compete for a regular place in the starting line-up. They all did that and a number of them have remained in the side as a result.

‘There was renewed hunger in the performance last weekend and we now have something to build on. Caerphilly will provide difficult opposition and we will not underestimate them.

‘They are bound to be targeting Newport for their first win of the season, but after Saturday’s first taste of success our players are hungry for more.’

NEWPORT RUGBY v CAERPHILLY (at Rodney Parade, 7.30pm).Newport: S Howarth; A Cadwallader, H Luscombe, S Williams, L Nabaro; J Strange, O Tonu’u; R Snow, J Richards, C Anthony, S Raiwalui (capt), M Voyle, G Gravell, S Ojomoh, J Forster,

Replacements: A Garvey, D Pattison, M Veater, J Powell/R Jones, M Pini, M Mostyn, L Lane.

Out – Newport: J Jones-Hughes (knee), J Pritchard (broken foot bone), B Breeze (knee), I Gough (back), D Burn (leg).

Previous meetings: Newport lead 8-4 in league rugby.

Last season: Newport 50 Caerphilly 22; Caerphilly 20 Newport 46.

Form guide: Caerphilly won four league and one cup match in season 1998/99, but Newport have won all six league meetings since then.The clubs have played 18 matches this season, Caerphilly have lost nine and Newport lost eight and won one.

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