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.

HOMERUGBY RANTNGDs 2008/9  2009/10 2010/11 201112 201213  SPECIAL ARTHUR GOULD FEATURE



July 13 - Newport's new season plans are in disarray following news that the signing of fly half Dai Flanagan has fallen through. Flanagan has elected to join the Scarlets Academy as a coach.


Newport face Bedwas in the British and Irish Cup first round qualifier at the Bridge Field in August (date not set). They won there 17-10 in their League encounter on December 21.


May 15 - Pontypridd fly-half Dai Flanagan heads up a quartet of new Newport recruits. The 28-year-old will head to the Black and Ambers from double-chasing Pontypridd and the club have also snapped up a pair of Ospreys and Bridgend backs in centre Nathan Edwards and full-back Jamie Murphy while back row forward Sam Feehan arrives from Cardiff. Prop Gethin Robinson has left Newport after 13 seasons to join Ebbw Vale.


Apr 26 - Newport concluded a dreadful season by losing to fourth placed Llandovery heavily at Rodney Parade. The exertions midweek against Pontypridd may have been a factor but Newport were always playing catch up against an attacking Drovers team who scored seven tries on their way to 44-27 victory. Swansea were relegated. Tries  James, Franchi, Hewitt. Penalties - O'Driscoll (2) Conversions - O'Driscoll (3)


Apr 23 - Newport were far too strong for Pontypridd at Rodney Parade last night. The score-line flattered the visitors but they did pick up their effort in the final quarter with two tries. The visitors were under-strength but Newport also fielded several junior players but the two teams still managed to serve up an entertaining spectacle. Ashton Hewitt was the pick of Newport's backs scoring one fine try from an electrifying burst of speed forty metres and missed several tackles out from the Ponty line.

Newport scored four tries - Hewitt (2) Pattison and Broad, Ponty picked up three - Smith, Hetherington, Williams. O'Driscoll scored three penalties and three conversions for the Port.


Apr 18 - In a contest where the lead changed hands regularly Cross Keys edged out Newport 33-29 at Pandy Park. Newport held a slight 29-26 advantage with eight minutes to play but were denied by a late converted try.


Apr 1 - Newport were beaten 10-9 by Cross Keys at Rodney Parade in a poor derby match tonight. Keys' slight edge at forward was sufficient to divide the two sides. Newport scored through three O'Driscoll penalties,  two in the first half. Keys got all their points in the second half from a converted penalty try and an O'Brien penalty. 


Mar 29 - A late try by Llanelli denied Newport a deserved victory at Parc y Scarlets. The score in the 84 minute by Griffiths was converted by Walters to tie the scores at 22 apiece. Newport scored three tries via O'Driscoll, Morgan and James. Newport recovered a 15-10 deficit to look certain winners only to be denied at the death.


Mar 22 - Newport's recent improvement was brought to a shuddering halt by lowly Swansea at the St. Helen's ground on Saturday. Playing with the wind in the first half Newport failed to take full advantage and were 7-3 up through an Attwell try. Swansea came back strongly with two tries from Dudley-Jones and Williams running out 24-10 winners.


Mar 13 - Newport made it three out of three with an impressive 25-21 win at Carmarthen. The Black and Ambers over tuned a 21-10 deficit to run out deserved winners. An early O'Driscoll penalty gave them the lead before Quins hit back with a converted try. A try from Franchi was converted by O'Driscoll before Waters was binned and Quins stretched their half time lead to 14-10. This was further extended by a converted Ellis Lloyd try. Newport hit back with a penalty try and a further penalty from O'Driscoll. Late on they snatched victory with a Craig Attwell try in the corner.


Mar 8 - On a beautiful March day Newport dominated Neath winning 20-3 in the Welsh Premiership to complete a rare double. An early O'Driscoll penalty was followed by a scintillating break and try from Owen Broad. O'Driscoll converted and added another penalty. The Black and Ambers should have extended their lead as a series of scrum penalties left Neath's prop yellow carded. But Neath cleared the danger. In a scrappy second half Newport produced one superb move finished brilliantly by Broad and converted by O'Driscoll.


Mar 1 - Newport produced one of the best displays of the season to beat Bridgend 46-24 at the Brewery Field. The result means they move ahead of the Ravens up to eighth place. The Black and Ambers scored six tries and led 24-7 at half time. They allowed Bridgend to score a fourth try late in the game to secure a bonus point themselves. Tries came from Waters, O'Driscoll (2), Beach, Broad and Morgan, with five converted by O'Driscoll who also added two penalties.


Feb 23 - A valiant effort by Newport in their re-arranged Cup fixture saw them taken apart by a late Ponty rally at Sardis Road. The home side ran out comfortable winners by 34 points to 10.


Feb 4 - Newport and Aberavon battled one another and the elements at a stormy Rodney Parade this evening in front of a small, brave crowd. Following a kick off delay of fifteen minutes Newport took a lead in to half time via two O'Driscoll penalties. They turned around to face the elements and conceded an early second half try and penalty. With seven minutes to go Newport went ahead with a penalty before Aberavon stole a 11-9 winning lead with a late penalty of their own. Newport stay 8th, the Wizards move up to 9th in the Welsh Premiership.

This was Newport's first match since December 21. Their last home victory was on November 2!


Jan 16 - Newport's game with Aberavon could not be played on the afternoon of Saturday 8th Feb because WRU rules say the Port cannot play at the same time as a Wales International fixture.  Aberavon RFC have kindly agreed to Newport's request to bring this game forward to Tuesday 4th February 2014. Kick Off : 7:15. Newport play a friendly on 28th January at Blackwood on 28th January Kick Off: 7.15.


Jan 13 - Having forced Newport playing away from Rodney Parade (subsequently postponed by Caerphilly Council) Bonymaen have now cried off from the re-arranged fixture due to be played tomorrow night. It means Newport have a bye through to meet Pontypridd away in the next round.


Jan 5 - The Cup match with Bonymaen due to be played at Welfare Ground, Newbridge was cancelled om Friday. The decision regarding the ground was made by Caerphilly Council. Under the rules of the tournament the match now has to be replayed within 10 days i.e. on or before Jan 14th 2014. Newport's intention is to play it on January 14th at Rodney Parade.


Dec 28 - Newport's fixture with Cross Keys was called off due to a waterlogged pitch at Rodney Parade.


Dec 21 - Newport's topsy-turvy season took a turn for the better as they beat Bedwas at the Bridge Field 17-10. The Black and Ambers recovered from a 10-6 deficit to win the game and reverse the result two weeks ago at Rodney Parade. Craig Attwell got a second half try and Geraint O'Driscoll scored four penalties.

Newport's home Cup fixture against Bonymaen on January 4 will be played at Newbridge's Welfare Ground. (Comment - lets hope it is rained off)


Dec 14 - Backs coach John Bryant may have departed but there was no change on the field as Newport lost to Cardiff by 21-11 at Rodney Parade. Cardiff over-turned their defeat at home to the Black and Ambers, they were the stronger side with tries from Thomas, Hamilton and Lewis. Rory Budina scored a late try for Newport.


Dec 7 - Bedwas exposed Newport's frailties at the scrummage to post a big win at Rodney Parade. The small but hardy band of Black and Ambers fans saw Newport take the lead through a good Elliot Frewen try.

Bedwas closed the gap from a succession of set piece penalties mostly conceded at scrum by prop Gethin Robinson. Hiss namesake Dan skirted through for a try early in the second to give Newport renewed hope. But they fell apart as Bedwas finished strongly with tries by Thomas, Lewis and Evans, two converted by Richard Powell.


Nov 30 - Newport lost lock Adam Brown after 32 minutes for a second yellow card offence but still ran out winners after a fine display at the Gnoll. Neath wracked up three unconverted tries as Newport were reduced to 14 or 13 men at various times (Gethin Robinson was also carded). But 15-6 adrift they put in a storming second half effort to claw their way back with a brace from Elliot Frewen and a fine individual score from Ethan Davies to run out 26-15 victors.


Nov 23 - Newport conceded a late penalty to go down 23-21 to League leaders Carmarthen Quins. The match was a scrappy but entertaining affair where Newport ran out of steam after an impressive start. Newport cut loose scoring good tries through centre Franchi and winger Frewen. Two Carmarthen tries brought the away side back in front before a succession of penalties from O'Driscoll gave Newport a 21-13 lead six minutes in to the second half. The away side dominated the latter stages adding a converted try and penalty to sneak the game. Att - 500.


Nov 3 - Newport gained an important victory in their battle to avoid relegation comfortably disposing of Bridgend by 28 points to 13 at Rodney Parade. Ethan Davies opened the scoring with a fine long distance try. Other tries were added by Andrew Brown and man of the match Lee Beach. The tireless Ashton Hewitt got a late bonus point try to catapult them up the table. Att - 1095 Scorers: tries – Ethan Davies, A Brown, L Beach, A Hewitt; conversion – G O'Driscoll; penalties – G O'Driscoll (2)


Newport has finally honoured the team that beat the All Blacks 3-0 on 30th October 1963. The City Council made them freemen of the City yesterday at a special dinner at Rodney Parade. The article on the left is a small part of a thorough review of the game and the tour by Richard Evans in his book 'Whineray's All Blacks'.

To put the win in perspective it was only New Zealand's seventh defeat in 122 matches played since 1905. Their playing record on the tour was played 34 won 32 drew 1 lost 1 points for 568 and against 153. They drew 0-0 with Scotland. In Wales - played Newport lost 0-3, Aberavon-Neath won 11-6, Abertillery-Ebbw Vale won 13-0, Cardiff won 6-5, Pontypool-Cross Keys won 11-0, Swansea won 16-9, Wales won 6-0, Llanelli won 22-8, Barbarians 36-3.


Oct 26 - In the week that Newport commemorates the 50th anniversary of the greatest club win by a Welsh side the present-day Black and Ambers posted a record defeat at Llandovery. The score line of 48-14 reflects a second half dominated by the Drovers. Newport have won only one of their six matches this season, following last year's dreadful performance in the Welsh Premiership. Their scores came from hooker Rogers (1 try) and full back O'Driscoll (three penalties).

Comment - Newport RFC is not a hobby for Will Godfrey etc.. Despite its current lowly status it is a great sporting institution. It has many loyal followers and many who believe it should still be the professional rugby side representing this area. The current results are not acceptable and ultimately those coaching the side have to take full responsibility for this.


Oct 12 - Newport's disastrous start to the season continued at Cardiff where they went down 32-17 on the synthetic pitch. The defeat followed their fine win six try 52-28 at home against Swansea. They are 9th out of 12 two points off the bottom of the League.


Sep 21 - Newport threw away several opportunities to win before handing victory to Llanelli at Rodney Parade as their depressing early run continued. An interception try in the closing minutes by Steffan Evans sealed victory for the mini Scarlets. Sven Cronk, still there at the helm, despite the appalling downward spiral of the team stated "“It just comes down to keeping our concentration levels up for the whole 80 mins, whether we tried to force it a bit too much or took the wrong option today, I feel these aspects can be worked on if we are going to have a good season."

Scorers: Tries – Tyler Morgan 25 mins, Penalty Try 75; Conversions – Ethan Davies 25, Matt O’Brien 75; Penalties – Ethan Davies 13, Matt O’Brien 69


Sep 14 - Aberavon easily disposed of Newport 21-7 in their opening League fixture. Sam Waldron got a first half try, converted by Geraint O'Driscoll. Andrew Brown was binned after 40 minutes.


Heavy defeat and three players injured

Aug 31 - Newport made the worst possible start to the season in the manner of their defeat to Cross Keys at Pandy Park by 39 points to 17. The Black and Ambers were fitful and disorganised and for much of the game were out-muscled and bullied by their better prepared opponents. The match was a huge disappointment to the large number of Newport fans who made the trip up the Western Valley.

Newport were down 16-6 at half time. Ethan Davies at outside half kicked two penalties but Keys were dominant, Reuben Tucker bustling over for a try. Newport lost Dan Robinson, Oliver James and Josh Skinner (pictured left on stretcher) to injury.

Briefly Newport closed the gap to 22-17 following an fine Ashton Hewitt try. But a grandstand finish from Keys with tries in injury time from Williams and Lampard gave them the win they deserved. The final play off match with Bedwas takes place next week.


Aug 26 - Newport prepare for two crucial play-offs as they bid to enter the British and Irish Cup at the expenses of local rivals, Cross Keys and Bedwas. First they have to get past Keys next Saturday at Pandy Park (ko 2.30pm), if successful they face Bedwas away on September 7.

It has been agreed with Cardiff RFC to postpone both home and away games and they will be rearranged for a Saturday for each when the outcome of BIC qualifiers is known.  The home match versus Cross Keys will now be on Saturday December 28th 2013 at Rodney Parade. The away match with  Pontypridd match will be now be televised on S4C.

Back row Lee Beach will be this season’s Newport RFC’s captain. The Black and Ambers have also signed centre Dom Franchi, full-back Ed Doe and tighthead prop James Monck to bolster their squad.


  The Rodney Parade surface has had its facelift with a state-of-the-art drainage system and new playing surface in readiness for the new season. The playing surface was completely stripped and the digging of holes and
gullies were made to install hundreds of yards of piping and tones of gravel slits and sand banks to drain water to the main drain output.Now the surface has been totally levelled and reseeded, a new irrigation system installed which also includes 16 outfield pop-up sprinklers and 8 infield sprinklers to help the ground staff, if and when they need a supply of water. The project is a joint venture between both the football and rugby clubs at a total cost of £110,000 in which County has been successful in applying for
a Football Foundation grant for its share.


     FIXTURES 2013 - 2014    

Sat, 31 Aug Cross Keys A BICPO 17 39
Sat, 14 Sep Aberavon A PP 7 21
Sat, 21 Sep Llanelli H PP 20 26
Sun, 29 Sep Pontypridd A PP 18 38
Sat, 05 Oct Swansea H PP 52 28
Sat 12 Oct Cardiff A PP 17 32
Sat, 26 Oct Llandovery A PP 14 48
Sat, 02 Nov Bridgend H PP 28 13
Sat, 23 Nov Carmarthen Q H PP 21 23
Fri, 29 Nov Neath A PP 26 15
Sat, 07 Dec Bedwas H PP 20 31
Sat, 14 Dec Cardiff H PP 11 21
Sat, 21 Dec Bedwas A PP 17 10
Sat, 28 Dec Cross Keys H PP P  
Sat 4 Jan Bonymaen H CUP P  
Tues 28 Jan Blackwood A F P  
Tues 04 Feb Aberavon H PP 9 11
Sat, 22 Feb Pontypridd A CUP 10 34
Sat, 01 Mar Bridgend A PP 46 24
Sat, 08 Mar Neath H PP 20 3
Fri, 14 Mar Carmarthen A PP 25 21
Sat 22 Mar Swansea A PP 10 24
Sat, 29 Mar Llanelli A PP 22 22
Tues 01 Apr Cross Keys H PP 9 10
Sat, 19 Apr Cross Keys A PP 29 33
Tues 22 Apr Pontypridd H PP 35 22
Sat, 26 Apr Llandovery H PP 27 44

KEY - Home fixtures in Amber. PP=Welsh Premiership F = Friendly C= Cup BIC - British and Irish Cup


"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 28-17 Bath (13/10/00) BBC report

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.