Bridgend Ravens will be looking to put a stop to their three game losing streak when they travel to Rodney Parade on Saturday (KO 2.30pm) to face a Newport side that haven’t won in the Principality Premiership since mid November.
The Ravens let a 15-3 half-time lead slip against Osprey-region rivals Neath last weekend, seven days after crashing out of the SWALEC cup at the hands of an impressive Bargoed outfit. The Black and Ambers also exited the cup at home to Swansea and have had a torrid second half of the season, though they did record impressive draws in January against Cross Keys and Llandovery.
Bridgend will start with a small number of changes to the side that narrowly lost out to Neath last weekend, with regional call-ups and a long injury list limiting head coach Ben Rose’s options.
Chris Francis starts at hooker ahead of Gary Carpenter, after the young Bridgend Athletic product sustained what looked like a serious injury in the latter stages of last week’s defeat. He has since left hospital though and is on the mend. Ospreys props Jonny Thomas and Owen Williams start either side of Francis to complete the front row.
Lloyd Evans comes in to replace Lee Davies, with Owain Lloyd moving in to the second row to partner Shaun O’Rourke. Captain Jonny Vaughan remains on the flank with Scott Hicks replacing Tom Morgan to complete the pack.
Glenn Holloway replaces Tom Grabham at scrum half and Robin Lock swaps places with Rhys Ward Jones in an otherwise unchanged backline, with Lewis Williams, Sam Campbell, Nathan Edwards, Glen Lewis and Jamie Murphy looking to replicate the pace and creativity that the Ravens showed in the 42-35 thriller at the Riverside Hardware Brewery Field back in September.