Bridgend Ravens have named a much-changed backline for their clash with Newport at the Riverside Hardware Brewery Field on Saturday 06th October (KO 2.30pm).
Ospreys fly-half Matthew Morgan will take the field for the Ravens for the first time since 2010, after spending the last two seasons at Swansea. Tom Grabham will also play his first game of the season for the Ravens as he returns from Ospreys duty whilst veteran centre Steve Winn slots in at 12.
Nathan Edwards comes in at outside centre and Chris Williams starts at scrum-half, meaning the only backs to remain in the starting XV from last weekend's loss to Carmathen Quins are Luke Morgan and Jamie Murphy.
The visitors this weekend are Newport and the Black & Ambers have also had a tough start to their season. Indeed, the men from Rodney Parade have conceded the most points in the Premiership and only sit higher than the Ravens thanks to two tight three-point victories away to Aberavon and Carmathen Quins.
Home fans will be excited to see the return to the side of fly-half Morgan who has notched up 156 points for the Ospreys in his three seasons attached to the club. The Reading-born number 10 has only played a total of 80 minutes in four appearances in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season so should have plenty of energy to inject in to the Ravens' attack. Morgan also has 14 appearances for the Wales U20 side, scoring 134 points in the process and the 5'8” fly-half should receive a warm welcome home, as he developed locally through Brynteg Comprehensive, Pencoed College and Bridgend Athletic.
Ravens' backs coach and former Newport player Dan Griffiths is looking forward to facing his old team-mates and coaches at the Riverside Hardware Brewery Field:
“We are focused on getting the show back on the road. After a tough week's training, we want to move forward and I want the bragging rights in the bar after the game! It's always a great experience to play against Newport, a club that is obviously close to my heart and has given me so many fond memories. It's good to see a few of the 'old heads' in the squad, including good friends Dai Pattison and Sam Waldron who I played alongside in the Premiership winning side of 2003/4.
I wish Newport the very best for the season, starting from the final whistle on Saturday!”
Ravens squad to face Newport:
15. Jamie Murphy
14. Luke Morgan
13. Nathan Edwards
12. Steve Winn
11. Tom Grabham
10. Matthew Morgan
9. Chris Williams
1. Marc Thomas
2. Ash James
3. Owen Williams
4. Josh Jacas
5. Lee Davies
6. Jonathon Vaughan (c)
7. Arthur Ellis
8. Scott Hicks
Replacements: Daniel Suter, Jon Thomas, Chris Francis, Andrew Waite, Alun Evans, Ben Thomas, Glen Lewis, Ashley Evans
Newport: A Awcock, E Frewen, G O'Driscoll, W Richards, A Hewitt, S Sneddon, A Quick, D Pattison, R Prosser, A Jeffries, D Rosser, A Frampton, S Waldron, C Attwell (capt), R Coombs
Replacements: A Brown, J Jeune, R Jones, C Townsend, W Hodnett, T Hancock, J Leadbeater
Referee: Neil Perkins