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Jones-hughes And Gough Back For Heineken Cup Duty

Jones-hughes And Gough Back For Heineken Cup Duty

Welsh internationals Jason Jones-Hughes and Ian Gough will be back in the big time this weekend when they play their first competitive games of the season in the Heineken Cup Pool 5 clash with London Irish at Rodney Parade on Saturday (kick-off 2.30 pm).
Both players figured in Newport’s two friendly fixtures last weekend, the United fixture against Swansea Athletic and the 1st XV friendly at Cambridge University, and have proved their fitness to return to the Heineken Cup line-up.
Jones-Hughes has battled back to fitness after a two year break that saw him go through knee reconstruction, while Gough has returned after a summer back operation.
‘Both players have worked incredibly hard to regain full match fitness and overcome difficult injuries. In the case of Jason, it has been a two year haul,’ said Newport Rugby team manager Jim McCreedy.
‘They both performed well in their comeback matches last week, but the game against London Irish will be a huge step up in intensity for them. It will be great for Jason to get back in front of the Newport fans in such an important game.
‘London Irish have been playing at a high level throughout the Autumn international series and we have noted their win over Leicester Tigers. They are a quality team whose position in the Zurich Premiership belies their true quality.
‘The past month has allowed the players to work hard in training and, in many ways, it has been like another pre-season period for us. But now it is back down to business and this is a vital game for us.
‘It’s as though the season starts again for us this weekend and I know the players intend to make an impact. We must win to keep alive any hopes of doing anything in the Heineken Cup.’
The back line is the same as played in the 41-17 win at Cambridge University last weekend, when Irish international wing Matt Mostyn helped himself to four tries. Up front, Rod Snow and Simon Raiwalui return to the pack after playing for Canada and Fiji in the Autumn international period.
Wales lock Mike Voyle is suffering from a back injury and wasn’t considered for selection. Ian Gough partners Raiwalui in the second row, while Gareth Gravell joins Steve Ojomoh and Jason Forster in the back row.

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NEWPORT RUGBY: Shane Howarth; Matt Mostyn, Jason Jones-Hughes, Andy Marinos, Hal Luscombe; Jason Strange, Ofisa Tonu’u; Rod Snow, James Richards, Adrian Garvey, Simon Raiwalui (captain), Ian Gough, Gareth Gravell, Jason Forster, Steve Ojomoh.
Replacements: Chris Anthony, Paul Young, Matthew Veater, Joe Powell, Matt Pini, Luke Nabaro, Dale Burn.

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