BLACK AND AMBER
Newport’s premier sporting team now sadly consigned to semi-professional status. Founded in 1875 they are conquerors of all the major touring teams. Many great players have graced the hallowed turf of Rodney Parade. Following the reorganisation of the game Newport now play in the Welsh Premiership with teams like Llandovery and Bedwas.
NEWS REGULARLY UPDATED
THE FULL FORCE OF WRU RULE LEAVES NEWPORT RFC REELING
July 31 - The full consequences of the Welsh Rugby Union's takeover has left Newport RFC reeling as it has been denied use of facilities and changes administrative arrangements. Following the takeover of Rodney Parade Newport RFC's historic clubhouse will not be in use this season. In addition due to the prohibitive cost of stewarding the entire stadium only the Bisley Stand will be available to the club for home matches. The WRU has agreed to allow the Black and Ambers to use the David Watkins bar in the Bisley Stand and to receive revenue from the bar. As yet the Club has been unable to produce season ticket offers. It seems likely that the offer in the coming season could comfortably exceed last year's price for non-concession tickets - £90. The new landlord is undertaking other ground work including hospitality boxes at south end being taken down, new floodlights on the Hazell Stand, disabled access being upgraded and work on safety being carried out in the Hazell Terrace and Stand.
COMMENT - Newport RFC has endured the most difficult close season imaginable. The club has lost pretty much everything retaining only short term rights to play at its own ground. Disentangling the Club from Rodney Parade Limited and starting the new journey as an independent club was never going to be an easy one. There have been delays some inevitable and some not so. The Club urgently needs to get its season ticket offer out to fans who have already made commitments to the professional side in some cases. The Dragons have a poor season ticket base, this is an opportunity to set a competitive price that will encourage fans to get behind the City's premier rugby club. Newport RFC must get the message out quickly or lose vital business.
NEWPORT DRAWN AGAINST SWANSEA
July 29 - Newport have been drawn away to Swansea in the
first round of the Welsh Cup. This is a reversal of last years fixture where
Swansea came to Rodney Parade for a match that Newport won 21-18. The match
will be played on the weekend of January 6th 2018.
PITCH WORK STARTS
July 8 - Work has started on the
new £750,000 pitch at Rodney Parade, home to the Dragons and Newport RFC
rugby union sides and Newport County football team.
ANOTHER PREMIERSHIP SHAKE-UP
Jun 12 - The
Principality Welsh Premiership is set to be divided into two groups of eight
teams in east and west Wales. It is understood these plans have been
approved by the clubs and will need to be ratified by a Welsh Rugby Union
WRU APPROACHES COUNCIL REGARDING GROUND DEVELOPMENTS
Jun 10 - The Welsh Rugby Union has approached Newport City Council to assist with improvements regarding the ground and amenity at Rodney Parade. Hopefully, this will result in the Council taking some control over the venue if as expected the Dragons cease to exist as a professional side in the next few years.
WRU Chief Executive Martyn Phillips stated "It could be that
we need to have a couple of the first Newport County games away rather than
home if we need that window. Nobody wants that in that competitions need a
home and away rhythm but we might need a bit of slack in August to get that
done. It's going to be a hybrid, grass and artificial, that should be
comfortable with three teams playing on it."
PARTRIDGE FLIES BACK HOME
Jun 10 - Dan Partridge is not transferring to Cardiff and has signed a new two year contract to remain at Rodney Parade. The popular 27 year old second row passed 50 appearances for Newport this season and is firmly established in the boiler house of the team. In addition Newport have added the following second row cover - Joe Bartlett (Ebbw Vale) Jonathon Kenny (Bridgend) and James Little (Cardiff Met).
NEWPORT WIN TIER TWO FINAL
May 20 - Newport easily overcame Neath at the Gnoll tonight by 32 points to 14 to win the Tier Two Final. Despite being buoyed by travelling support the Black and Ambers were behind 14-10 after 48 minutes. A try by Partridge, followed by a penalty for O'Driscoll and two further tries, one from O'Driscoll and one by virtue of a penalty try saw them home and brought to a successful end a very difficult season on and off the field.
NEWPORT REACH TIER TWO FINAL
May 12 - Newport produced a dramatic fightback to beat Llanelli 22-17 in the Tier Two semi final at Rodney Parade. Fifteen points in the last sixteen minutes of the game overcame the West Walians who had seemed in complete control. A try from Partridge was followed by a penalty by O'Driscoll before Matthew Prosser crashed over to seal victory with the try converted by O'Driscoll. Newport will face either Neath or Cross Keys in the 'best of the rest' final at Rodney Parade next Saturday.
NEWPORT SHAREHOLDERS BACK WRU TAKEOVER PLAN AFTER TENSE VOTE
May 10 - The Welsh Rugby Union's takeover of the Newport
Gwent Dragons has been overwhelmingly approved by Newport RFC shareholders
at a crucial vote on the future of the rugby in the city and the region.
THE WRU COMPROMISES, BUT WILL IT BE ENOUGH?
May 7 -
Following a meeting with shareholders and supporters attended by WRU chief
executive Martyn Phillips, a circular has been issued to address a number of
issues raised. It has confirmed additional provisions for Newport RFC,
including a pledge that Newport RFC would have "secure playing rights at
Rodney Parade for as long as professional rugby is being played there".
COMMENT - this might appease a few shareholders and
offer succour to FONR but it does nothing to end the uncertainty regarding
Rodney Parade. The WRU's offer regarding the future of Newport RFC means
zero if the Dragons cease to exist as a professional entity. Shareholders
have very few positive reasons to vote yes and the WRU does nothing to
address the failure to offer the market value for Rodney Parade or provide
for Newport RFC in the future.
FONR - SECOND LETTER TO SHAREHOLDERS
Read it here
NEWPORT LOSE AT HOME
Apr 30 - Newport were very much second best slumping at home 26-9 to Llanelli on Saturday.
NEWPORT BEAT BARGOED
Apr 23 - Newport beat Bargoed in Ystrad Mynach yesterday by 15 points to 11 to maintain their lead position of Tier 2 of the Principality Premiership. Tries came via a penalty try and Llywarch ap Myrrdin.
FONR - 'REGIONAL TEAM BEING PLACED BEFORE NEWPORT RFC'
Apr 10 - Friends of Newport Rugby have issued a statement to Newport RFC shareholders warning them that there are key questions about the WRU proposal to take over Rodney Parade remain unanswered. They state that no business plan exists for Newport RFC exists and that the position of debts owed to directors remains unclear. It goes on to say that the proposed deal will see the ground sold to the WRU for a fraction of the cost. FONR add 'the recent meeting was told the proposed deal is 'the only way' but we believe the directors are putting the regional side ahead of Newport Rugby Fotball club and that there may be alternative options which will enable Newport RFC to retain most of the ground.'
Comment - Shareholders should listen to FONR. No organisation has done more to keep the name of Newport RFC alive in recent years. Their concerns about the WRU deal and the future of Newport RFC are justifiable. There are no clear answers as to why the ground is being sold at a cut down price or how the debts of directors are being dealt with. Blind faith in the WRU is not enough. Why does Newport RFC have to give up everything to ensure the survival of professional rugby in the area?
NEWPORT BEAT SWANSEA IN DIRE ENCOUNTER
Apr 9 - A
decent crowd at Newport swelled by ranks of ex players saw the Black and
Ambers succeed 28-10 in their game against Swansea. Ap Myrddin, Smith,
Jenkins and O'Brien scored the tries with four conversions by Arwel Robson.
For the most part the match was a dire encounter littered with errors and
bad temper and fighting.
Mar 28 - The meeting of Newport RFC supporters with their Board of Directors was a fractious and unsatisfying affair last night. Most of the major questions regarding the WRU proposal remained unanswered. CEO Stuart Davies admitted he did not have a business plan for the operation of Newport RFC post-takeover and that he did not know the full value of the Rodney Parade land asset. Director Jim McCreedy appeared dismissive of the work carried out by Friends of Newport Rugby, although is understood to have apologised.
Today Friends of Newport Rugby issued the following statement " Members
of Friends of Newport Rugby and their committee joined with shareholders and
supporters for the session with the CEO of Newport RFC, Stuart Davies and
directors Will Godfrey and Jim McCreedy.
Mar 26 - The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) are offering no guarantees to Newport RFC in their proposed July 1 takeover plan set to be considered by shareholders shortly. The WRU is not prepared to guarantee a time period at which Newport can play at their historic Rodney Parade ground. In a further sleight they have announced plans to remove Newport from the name of the regional team.
The WRU run team they claim will represent the 73 teams in District A / Gwent. However, those clubs have never invested a penny in the running of professional rugby in the area. Newport RFC would therefore relinquish ownership of the ground and face a very uncertain future under the proposals put forward by the WRU.
NEWS SPECIAL - RODNEY PARADE SELL OUT here
NEWPORT GAIN FINE GNOLL VICTORY
Mar 18 - Victories at Neath are much easier to come by now than in the bygone days of Welsh rugby. Newport picked up a convincing 25-9 victory as they continued their improved recent form. Frewen, Ap Myrddin and Jones got the tries with two conversions and two penalties added by O'Driscoll.
FoNR EXPRESS GRAVE CONCERNS AT HAZELL MOVE
Mar 11 - Friends of Newport Rugby have expressed grave
concerns at moves by Martyn Hazell to drop his involvement in Newport RFC
and Rodney Parade. The statement says "Friends of Newport Rugby are gravely
concerned about the future of Newport RFC and the potential sale of its
assets. With the recent press articles, social media speculation and
comments from Newport RFC & Dragons CEO Stuart Davies, FoNR have requested
meetings with Stuart, the Newport RFC Board and most recently the WRU CEO
Martyn Phillips & Chairman Gareth Davies. The rejection of a meeting by the
CEO of Newport RFC and the lack of reply from the Newport RFC board is
worrying, especially when the WRU CEO & Chairman have arranged to meet FoNR.
This lack of communication with the club could lead to the assumption that
decisions are being made concerning Newport RFC, which are not in the best
interests of the club.
NEWPORT RFC LTD RECORDS BIG LOSS
Mar 6 - The company behind Newport Gwent Dragons and
Newport RFC has slipped to a loss following a disappointing season for the
Pro12 side and a reduction in payments from the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU). The
Dragons have recently been linked with a full takeover by the WRU, which
currently owns the club in a 50-50 joint venture with Newport RFC.
BLACK AND AMBERS HONOUR EIGHT MORE
Mar 5 - The annual Hall of Fame dinner was held on Friday.
Eight more players and administrators were honoured. John Anthony, George
Boots, Andrew Coombs, Fred Cox, Dennis Perrott, Paul Turner, Paul Watts and
Jack Wetter all received recognition. The award for former groundsman Fred
Cox was collected by his daughter Pat. George Boots and Jack Wetter were
also represented by family descendants.
Feb 25 - An early kick off saw Newport beat Cardiff 17-8 at Rodney Parade in the Premiership B competition yesterday.
PONTY PUT NEWPORT OUT
Feb 18 - A late surge from Newport was not enough to beat Pontypridd at Sardis Road in the Cup. The Black and Ambers went down 34-29.
NEWPORT START SECOND ROUND OF LEAGUE WITH A WIN
Feb 5 - The rather pointless second tier competition of the League commenced with a 25-14 victory for Newport at Bridgend. Newport's tries from Craig Attwell (2), Hadyn Palmer and a penalty try.
Jan 26 - A fight-back by Newport put them through to the next round of the Cup as they beat Swansea 21-18.
NEWPORT LOSE TO BOTTOM SIDE
Jan 7 - Newport embarrassingly slipped to a 17-16 defeat to struggling Bargoed this afternoon. The Black and Ambers only try came deep in injury time to Rhodri Jones. Matt O'Brien scored three penalties and a conversion.
NEWPORT HAMMER NORTH WALES TEAM
Jan 2 - Newport hammered the North Wales team, RGC1404, as they recovered from their festive loss at Cross Keys. The Black and Ambers ran out easy 41-17 winners on a heavy Rodney Parade pitch. With one match to go the WRU has confirmed its stupid and pointless plan to split the league table into top 8 / bottom 8. Newport are currently tenth and even if they beat Bargoed with a bonus point cannot make the top 8. Tries: Jenkins (6), Penalty (28), Ap Myrddin (37), Partridge (0,71), Mock (76) Conversions: Robson (6,28,37), O'Brien (0,71,76) Penalties: Robson (40,62,40,62)
BOXING DAY TRADITION LIVES ON
Dec 26 - The traditional Boxing Day fixture produced a familiar result - a win for Cross Keys. The Keys did not cross Newport's line but were awarded two penalty tries as Newport succumbed 23 points to 8.
NEWPORT BEAT WIZARDS
Dec 3 - Newport continued their improvement with a hard fought 30-24 victory over third placed Aberavon at Rodney Parade. Tries - Frewen (2), Riley, Morris Pen - O'Brien Drop Goal - Robson, Cons - O'Brien (2)
NEWPORT EDGE OUT CARMARTHEN
Nov 26 - Newport beat Carmarthen 25-24 at home to continue their big recent improvement. Newport scorers: Tries – Rhodri Jones, Jon Morris, Reuben Tucker, Conversions – Matt O’Brien (2), Penalties –.O’Brien (2)
BLACK AND AMBERS BEAT BOTTOM CLUB
Nov 17 - Newport won comfortably against bottom club Swansea by 25 to 14 at St Helen's. The Black and Amber tries came from Johnny Morris, Geraint O’Driscoll and Matt O’Brien, the latter converted two and kicked two penalties.
O'BRIEN LEADS NEWPORT CHARGE
Nov 13 - Newport pulled off a fine win defeating Llandovery 21-16 this afternoon with a match winning performance from outside half Matt O'Brien. The Newport fly half scored three penalties and converted his own match winning try after 62 minutes. Geraint O'Driscoll scored Newport's other try in the first half. Attendance - 577.
NEWPORT EDGE OUT NEATH
Nov 4 - Newport, winless at home, pulled off their second win of the season narrowly beating Neath 12-10 at the Gnoll. This was Newport's third consecutive win at Neath. All Newport's scoring came in the first half. Three penalties and a drop goal from Matt O'Brien gave them a 12-3 half time advantage. Neath grabbed an early try and applied significant pressure in wet conditions but ultimately to no avail. Newport edged up to fourteenth in the league! Attendance - 250
TIME FOR WARLOW TO GO?
Oct 29 - Newport's disastrous season continued with another abject performance against Bridgend and a 19-7 defeat. They have failed to win any home league games and have only been competitive in half of the fixtures they have played this season. Bridgend built up a 19-0 before Newport emptied the bench and scored a converted try from Arwel Robson. Attendance - 648.
Comment - Is it time to call a halt on the Craig Warlow experiment? Newport had the option to go elsewhere this year but stuck with Warlow with disastrous results. The city needs to strong rugby and football teams and Newport needs to cement its place as the top team in the 'region' this does not help that strategy.
NEWPORT WIN AT BEDWAS
Oct 12 - The Black and Ambers ran out 41-26 victors against Bedwas at the Bridge Field in the curtain-raiser in Pool A of the WRU Challenge Cup. Attendance - 250
HEAVY DEFEAT AT PONTY
Oct 8 - Newport threatened to cause an upset with an early Rhodri Jones try but Ponty came roaring back with six tries to ease to victory, scoring two late on pick up the bonus point. Attendance - 800
Scorers: Pontypridd: Tries: B Coombes, A Webber (2), H Barnes, J Davies; Cons: C Hall (4); Pen: C Hall. Newport: Tries: R Jones, G O’Driscoll; Con: M O’Brien.
NEWPORT PUT TO THE SWORD BY MERTHYR
Sept 29 - Newport came back to earth tonight with a severe beating at the hands of Merthyr going down by 50-26 at Rodney Parade. The Black and Ambers were second best to a Merthyr side packed with talent and they could only manage a scoring flurry in the last quarter. Attendance - 546.
Newport scorers: Tries – E Frewen, C Coleman, L Ap Myrddin,
G O’Driscoll, Conversions – A Robson (3). Merthyr scorers: Tries – O Davies
(2), K Evans (3), E Siggery, R Downes, Conversions – M Jarvis (6), Penalty –
Sept 25 - Newport got off the mark in the Welsh Premiership by beating Llanelli at Parc y Scarlets edging to a 17-13 win. A late try by Adam Brown added to earlier tries from Owen Davies and Henry Palmer was enough to secure victory. Attendance - 400
NEWPORT LOSE TO FORTUNATE EBBW
Sept 17 - Newport remain winless after not getting the run of the ball at Eugene Cross Park. The Black and Ambers narrowed the deficit down to six points and were piling on the pressure when an Ebbw breakaway brought them a try and ultimately a 33-17 margin of victory.
Ebbw Vale Tries: R Kynes, C Leversley, J Lewis Cons: J Lewis (3) Pens: J Lewis (4) Newport Tries:B Lampitt, A Hewitt Cons: M O’Brien (2) Pens: A Robson
ABJECT NEWPORT FALL TO BEDWAS
Sep 11 - There was a big turnout of Newport supporters this afternoon hopeful of a better season for the Black and Ambers. But they disappointed by a feeble effort from the home side who were outplayed and out-muscled by Bedwas. Bedwas won the match 20-12. They clinched victory with a flowing move, with fifteen minutes to go,that ended with a try under Newport's posts. Bedwas tried to help Newport by forgoing kicks at goal and by having three players yellow carded including influential outside half Richard Powell. They were no great shakes themselves but worked hard and defended stoutly whereas Newport looked tentative in defence and missed several key tackles. A very effort from Newport. Attendance - 632
OPENING MATCH DISAPPOINTMENT FOR NEWPORT
Sep 3 - Newport had to settle for a losing bonus point following a narrow defeat to Cardiff by 25-22 at the Arms Park. Despite scoring three tries away from home Newport were unable to take advantage. The difference was a long range penalty from outside half Jarrod Evans for Cardiff. Attendance - 750. Scorers – Cardiff, Tries: R Williams, C Young (2), Cons: J Evans (2), Pens: J Evans (2). Newport, Tries: J Lavender, E Frewen, G Harris, Cons: M O’Brien, A Robson, Pens: M O’Brien
NEWPORT WIN PLATE FINAL AT SEVENS
August 28 - Newport won the Plate Final 33-14 against RGC1404 in the Foster's Sevens at the Cardiff Arms Park today. Newport lost 19-12 against Aberavon in the first round and as a result were relegated to the Plate competition. In the first round of the Plate they accounted for Swansea 22-14 before trouncing Pontypridd 40-5 in the semi final scoring six tries. Lywarch ap Myrddin scored and converted the opening try against their North Walian opponents RGC1404 in the Plate Final. RGC1404 responded immediately. ap Myrrdin repeated the dose to make it 14-7 to the Black and Ambers. Arwel Robson capitalised on an RGC mistake to increase the advantage with a converted touchdown just before half time. Sevens specialist Elliott Frewen squeezed through to increase the lead before Wes Cunnliffe added a fifth as Newport eased home to victory before a late consolation RGC try.
NEWPORT DEFEATED BY COVENTRY
August 20 - Newport continued their pre-season preparations with a 56-40 defeat away at Coventry. Their final friendly fixture against Hartridge RFC at Llanwern High School on Tuesday kicks off at 7pm.
Update Newport won 45-3 against Hartridge. Adam Brown is captain for the new campaign.
NEWPORT LOSE FRIENDLY
August 14 - Newport lost their opening friendly narrowly at Rodney Parade going down 24-22 to Rosslyn Park.
July 23 - Newport will play Hartridge RFC on the 4G surface at Llanwern as part of their pre-season preparations on August 23rd in the evening.
ANOTHER PROP SIGNS
July 10 - Newport RFC has announced the signing of local lad Fraser Young. Fraser played for Pill Harriers before signing for Pontypool last season but made several appearances on permit for the black and ambers during the campaign. Fraser bolsters the ranks of props in the squad and has already started training hard for the new season.
PREM FIXTURES ANNOUNCED
July 9 - Newport's new season fixtures have been announced by the WRU with Newport's opening encounter at the Arms Park against Cardiff on September 3.
PROP AND CENTRE JOIN NEWPORT AS THEY BUILD STRONG SQUAD
June 30 - Newport have signed Pontypool player of the season 20 year old Garin Harris as they build a strong squad for the new season. The tight head prop is believed to have great potential. In addition the Black and Ambers have signed 23 year old centre Tom Pascoe, who previously played for Cardiff and Pontypridd but has just returned from a spell in Australia. He joins new centres Chay Smith and Tom Riley.
Newport will play Coventry away at the Butts Park Arena on Saturday August 20 (kick off 3pm).
RILEY BACK AT NEWPORT
June 16 - Former player Tom Riley has re-joined the Black and Ambers after a spell at centre with Cornish Pirates. The 31 year old from Pontypridd made 27 appearances for Newport previously and 60 for Newport Gwent Dragons.
WARLOW SAYS TOUR GOOD FOR TEAM BUT NOT FOR RUGBY
June 11 - Newport coach Craig Warlow has said his team's two match tour of Newfoundland in Cardiff was good for team bonding but not necessarily rugby. Newport lost both games (18-7 to the Rock and 31-17 to Swilers),
NEW PLAYERS SIGN UP
June 11 - Newbridge forwards Dan Mock and Kyle Tayler have joined Newport for the new campaign. In addition, the squad has been bolstered by the addition of Cross Keys back row Reuben Tucker and Cardiff Met centre Chay Smith.
May 15 - Newport RFC will play Rosslyn Park at home on Sunday August 14th and Coventry at the Butts Park Arena on August 20th as part of their warm up for the 2016-17 campaign.
FIXTURES 2016 - 2017
KEY - PP=Welsh Premiership F = Friendly C= Cup Kick off times Sat/Sun 2.30pm Wed/Thurs/Fri 7.15pm
GIVE THE TEAM BACK TO THE CITY!
"It was blindingly obvious years ago that the Dragons would have the devil’s own job winning over an unwilling county to support them but they have positioned themselves badly in their market. The regime of Tony Brown, in days when Newport were Newport, had its critics but compared with the present operation, they were light years ahead. They had a chief executive in Keith Grainger and a director of marketing in Phil Davies who were ambitious and driven, and so full of ideas that by the end of the season, you were almost prepared to consider emigration in order to escape them... One of the other key elements, as I have said many times, is for the club to be returned to its city, for all silly county tags to be removed and for Newport to become Newport again. It is the only way to maximise crowds and income." Stephen Jones 'Sunday Times' 14/05/06
Heineken Cup, Pool 4
Newport announced their arrival in Europe by recording a brilliant victory over 1998 Heineken Cup winners Bath at Rodney Parade.
The Black and Ambers, roared on by a capacity 11,000 crowd, blitzed Bath through three first half tries.
And the 22-10 interval advantage proved too much of a hurdle for Bath to overcome, despite replacement fly-half Shaun Berne's try 12 minutes from time and persistent late pressure. Newport prospered because they took their chances, leaving Bath to dig deep ahead of next Saturday's tough pool four trip to Munster. The home side survived a nervous closing 10 minutes after being reduced to 14 men when their South African skipper Gary Teichmann was sinbinned for killing possession.
"It is now my strong view, given the above circumstances, that such viability and success can best be achieved if the infrastructure of Gwent Dragons is subsumed into the existing operations of Newport RFC." Marcus Russell, August 20 2003.
Jan 1897 - Rugby's first superstar and Black and Amber hero Arthur Gould, leading Wales for the last time, steers them to a victory over England at Newport. Wales won by 1 Goal and 2 Tries (11) to Nil. He retired with 27 Welsh caps and having led his country 18 times - national records at the time. This giant of Newport and Welsh sport ought to be properly commemorated in his home city.