Dragons set to host Saints in Ebbw Vale

Newport Gwent Dragons v Northampton Saints in LV Cup. Pictured is No 8 Netani Talei during a double tackle by the Saints defence. (3639438)

Newport Gwent Dragons v Northampton Saints in LV Cup. Pictured is No 8 Netani Talei during a double tackle by the Saints defence. (3639438)

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NEWPORT Gwent Dragons are set to play English champions Northampton in Ebbw Vale because of Barack Obama and his fellow world leaders.

The Dragons have agreed a home pre-season friendly against the Saints, who won their first Aviva Premiership title last season, on Friday, August 29.

However, they will not be playing the game at Rodney Parade due to security measures in Newport ahead of the Nato summit at the Celtic Manor the following week.

The situation enables the Dragons to play a major game outside of the city for the first time since August 2003 and the likely destination is Eugene Cross Park.

The region have previously investigated the possibility of playing an LV= Cup game at the home of the Steelmen.

Administration issues, such as the lack of hospitality boxes, the small number of seats in the grandstand and the need to notify season ticket holders before they made their purchase, prevented them from playing a competitive game away from Rodney Parade but there are no such problems for a friendly encounter.

And Ebbw Vale look set to strike gold with the Dragons' clash against Northampton, who won the Premiership and the Amlin Challenge Cup last season and boast the likes of George North, Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes, Luther Burrell and Samu Manoa in their ranks.

The Dragons' first game on Welsh soil was a pre-season friendly against Leeds at Pontypool Park in 2003 and they enjoyed a trio of encounters with Gwent Select XVs at Cross Keys' Pandy Park.

An added bonus of hosting the Saints at Eugene Cross Park is that there will be less strain on the Rodney Parade pitch, which is also home to Newport RFC and Newport County.

The Northampton game will be the Dragons' second pre-season friendly with Bristol their opponents at Ashton Gate on Sunday, August 17 (kick-off 3pm).

Director of rugby Lyn Jones, who was appointed last June, bemoaned the region's poor preparation for 2013/14 when their home friendly against Bath was their solitary warm-up for the Pro12.

Comments (24)

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8:16am Fri 13 Jun 14

Risca1 says...

Barack Obama could be the saviour of the region then bizarrely. Get around the region and things will start moving for the better.
Barack Obama could be the saviour of the region then bizarrely. Get around the region and things will start moving for the better. Risca1
  • Score: 2

8:52am Fri 13 Jun 14

Caerleonboy says...

Will be a nice trip for the Newport based supporters on a summer evening and should please the locals in Ebbw Vale. Great to be playing such a top side pre season, we need match practice against real sides before the league season gets underway
Will be a nice trip for the Newport based supporters on a summer evening and should please the locals in Ebbw Vale. Great to be playing such a top side pre season, we need match practice against real sides before the league season gets underway Caerleonboy
  • Score: 22

8:53am Fri 13 Jun 14

Dai Trying says...

Great move excellent chance to promote the region in one of its northern outposts. Pretty confident that the one eyed Newport till I die group will have a good old moan about it. Probably demanding free transport to and from the game. Don't give in to them, lets see how they like it, having to drive or worse still catch a train or bus.
Great move excellent chance to promote the region in one of its northern outposts. Pretty confident that the one eyed Newport till I die group will have a good old moan about it. Probably demanding free transport to and from the game. Don't give in to them, lets see how they like it, having to drive or worse still catch a train or bus. Dai Trying
  • Score: 4

10:18am Fri 13 Jun 14

Robert Shillabeer says...

Dai Trying wrote:
Great move excellent chance to promote the region in one of its northern outposts. Pretty confident that the one eyed Newport till I die group will have a good old moan about it. Probably demanding free transport to and from the game. Don't give in to them, lets see how they like it, having to drive or worse still catch a train or bus.
Hope Arrival and Network Rail can sort out trains from Newport and not via Cardiff to help get supporters up there. I will be going for a start.
[quote][p][bold]Dai Trying[/bold] wrote: Great move excellent chance to promote the region in one of its northern outposts. Pretty confident that the one eyed Newport till I die group will have a good old moan about it. Probably demanding free transport to and from the game. Don't give in to them, lets see how they like it, having to drive or worse still catch a train or bus.[/p][/quote]Hope Arrival and Network Rail can sort out trains from Newport and not via Cardiff to help get supporters up there. I will be going for a start. Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 6

10:22am Fri 13 Jun 14

Caerleonboy says...

Dai Trying wrote:
Great move excellent chance to promote the region in one of its northern outposts. Pretty confident that the one eyed Newport till I die group will have a good old moan about it. Probably demanding free transport to and from the game. Don't give in to them, lets see how they like it, having to drive or worse still catch a train or bus.
I assume with it being in Ebbw Vale it will be a sellout then, with all the Gwent rugby fans that refuse to come to Newport being able to come to this game. I look forward to it, it should be a great atmosphere in a packed ground.
[quote][p][bold]Dai Trying[/bold] wrote: Great move excellent chance to promote the region in one of its northern outposts. Pretty confident that the one eyed Newport till I die group will have a good old moan about it. Probably demanding free transport to and from the game. Don't give in to them, lets see how they like it, having to drive or worse still catch a train or bus.[/p][/quote]I assume with it being in Ebbw Vale it will be a sellout then, with all the Gwent rugby fans that refuse to come to Newport being able to come to this game. I look forward to it, it should be a great atmosphere in a packed ground. Caerleonboy
  • Score: 29

1:17pm Fri 13 Jun 14

OldSlugs says...

Strange that Ebbw Vale RFC aren't allowed to use the pitch in August, ever! But the Dragons can?
Strange that Ebbw Vale RFC aren't allowed to use the pitch in August, ever! But the Dragons can? OldSlugs
  • Score: -3

4:56pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Newport76 says...

Caerleonboy wrote:
Dai Trying wrote: Great move excellent chance to promote the region in one of its northern outposts. Pretty confident that the one eyed Newport till I die group will have a good old moan about it. Probably demanding free transport to and from the game. Don't give in to them, lets see how they like it, having to drive or worse still catch a train or bus.
I assume with it being in Ebbw Vale it will be a sellout then, with all the Gwent rugby fans that refuse to come to Newport being able to come to this game. I look forward to it, it should be a great atmosphere in a packed ground.
The Gwent rugby fans won't go because it is the NEWPORT gwent Dragons and the Dragons supporters won't go becasue it is being held away from Rodney Parade. Even if there are only get (say) 1,000 supporters, still good revenue for Ebbw Vale RFC.
[quote][p][bold]Caerleonboy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dai Trying[/bold] wrote: Great move excellent chance to promote the region in one of its northern outposts. Pretty confident that the one eyed Newport till I die group will have a good old moan about it. Probably demanding free transport to and from the game. Don't give in to them, lets see how they like it, having to drive or worse still catch a train or bus.[/p][/quote]I assume with it being in Ebbw Vale it will be a sellout then, with all the Gwent rugby fans that refuse to come to Newport being able to come to this game. I look forward to it, it should be a great atmosphere in a packed ground.[/p][/quote]The Gwent rugby fans won't go because it is the NEWPORT gwent Dragons and the Dragons supporters won't go becasue it is being held away from Rodney Parade. Even if there are only get (say) 1,000 supporters, still good revenue for Ebbw Vale RFC. Newport76
  • Score: -1

5:25pm Fri 13 Jun 14

GogExile says...

As a Newport based fan I'm really looking forward to this. With the prospect of protesters in town it will probably be a welcome escape from the madness too. I certainly won't expect any travel assistance and am always amazed by how people seem to make sweeping pronouncements of the mindset of other human beings.
As a Newport based fan I'm really looking forward to this. With the prospect of protesters in town it will probably be a welcome escape from the madness too. I certainly won't expect any travel assistance and am always amazed by how people seem to make sweeping pronouncements of the mindset of other human beings. GogExile
  • Score: 13

6:21pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Newport Dave says...

Looking forward to this very much.

The potential of this region is enormous if the "salt to go with that chip on your shoulder?" brigade would grow up and follow the rugby instead of worrying about the petty politics.

Stop moaning and crying about it. Either go or shut up.

There are some really good people at EVRFC and I will certainly be there to mingle, make new friends and shout for the Dragons.

I suppose I COULD join the "this is total sacrilege" brigade and stay away from the match and think to myself "I didn't go, that'll show 'em".

No thanks. I think I'll do something pro-active instead of puerile.

Thanks for the reminder GogExile, I'd forgotten about the protesters until you brought it up. We now have another reason to go and watch the Dragons, while the "sacrilege" people also have somewhere they can go.
Looking forward to this very much. The potential of this region is enormous if the "salt to go with that chip on your shoulder?" brigade would grow up and follow the rugby instead of worrying about the petty politics. Stop moaning and crying about it. Either go or shut up. There are some really good people at EVRFC and I will certainly be there to mingle, make new friends and shout for the Dragons. I suppose I COULD join the "this is total sacrilege" brigade and stay away from the match and think to myself "I didn't go, that'll show 'em". No thanks. I think I'll do something pro-active instead of puerile. Thanks for the reminder GogExile, I'd forgotten about the protesters until you brought it up. We now have another reason to go and watch the Dragons, while the "sacrilege" people also have somewhere they can go. Newport Dave
  • Score: 20

7:18pm Fri 13 Jun 14

stevey says...

Mostly positive comments on here, which is nice to see, be good to see this game as a start of god things to come, put the naysayers on the back foot.
Mostly positive comments on here, which is nice to see, be good to see this game as a start of god things to come, put the naysayers on the back foot. stevey
  • Score: 10

7:48pm Fri 13 Jun 14

blackandamber says...

Newport Dave wrote:
Looking forward to this very much.

The potential of this region is enormous if the "salt to go with that chip on your shoulder?" brigade would grow up and follow the rugby instead of worrying about the petty politics.

Stop moaning and crying about it. Either go or shut up.

There are some really good people at EVRFC and I will certainly be there to mingle, make new friends and shout for the Dragons.

I suppose I COULD join the "this is total sacrilege" brigade and stay away from the match and think to myself "I didn't go, that'll show 'em".

No thanks. I think I'll do something pro-active instead of puerile.

Thanks for the reminder GogExile, I'd forgotten about the protesters until you brought it up. We now have another reason to go and watch the Dragons, while the "sacrilege" people also have somewhere they can go.
I do hope you find someone to talk to
[quote][p][bold]Newport Dave[/bold] wrote: Looking forward to this very much. The potential of this region is enormous if the "salt to go with that chip on your shoulder?" brigade would grow up and follow the rugby instead of worrying about the petty politics. Stop moaning and crying about it. Either go or shut up. There are some really good people at EVRFC and I will certainly be there to mingle, make new friends and shout for the Dragons. I suppose I COULD join the "this is total sacrilege" brigade and stay away from the match and think to myself "I didn't go, that'll show 'em". No thanks. I think I'll do something pro-active instead of puerile. Thanks for the reminder GogExile, I'd forgotten about the protesters until you brought it up. We now have another reason to go and watch the Dragons, while the "sacrilege" people also have somewhere they can go.[/p][/quote]I do hope you find someone to talk to blackandamber
  • Score: -10

7:53pm Fri 13 Jun 14

blackandamber says...

Caerleonboy wrote:
Will be a nice trip for the Newport based supporters on a summer evening and should please the locals in Ebbw Vale. Great to be playing such a top side pre season, we need match practice against real sides before the league season gets underway
Its bound to please EV probably their biggest take of the season. Like it is whenever Newport play Ebbw.
[quote][p][bold]Caerleonboy[/bold] wrote: Will be a nice trip for the Newport based supporters on a summer evening and should please the locals in Ebbw Vale. Great to be playing such a top side pre season, we need match practice against real sides before the league season gets underway[/p][/quote]Its bound to please EV probably their biggest take of the season. Like it is whenever Newport play Ebbw. blackandamber
  • Score: 0

7:55pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Amber in the blood says...

Great news - now stay up there !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Great news - now stay up there !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Amber in the blood
  • Score: 1

10:16pm Fri 13 Jun 14

pettsy says...

blackandamber wrote:
Caerleonboy wrote:
Will be a nice trip for the Newport based supporters on a summer evening and should please the locals in Ebbw Vale. Great to be playing such a top side pre season, we need match practice against real sides before the league season gets underway
Its bound to please EV probably their biggest take of the season. Like it is whenever Newport play Ebbw.
Actually we're looking forward to seeing Ponty up here.Better side.
[quote][p][bold]blackandamber[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Caerleonboy[/bold] wrote: Will be a nice trip for the Newport based supporters on a summer evening and should please the locals in Ebbw Vale. Great to be playing such a top side pre season, we need match practice against real sides before the league season gets underway[/p][/quote]Its bound to please EV probably their biggest take of the season. Like it is whenever Newport play Ebbw.[/p][/quote]Actually we're looking forward to seeing Ponty up here.Better side. pettsy
  • Score: 5

11:43pm Fri 13 Jun 14

kenny john says...

Apart from a few petty comments, harping back years, very positive response. Lets be honest rodney parade is most suitable venue for high profile games, but eugene cross park is well suited to lesser games for dragons. It helps to expand support base and will develop rugby through gwent.
Good PR for dragons, well done to board, keep expanding the fan base and there is no reason the dragons cannot compete with other regions.
Apart from a few petty comments, harping back years, very positive response. Lets be honest rodney parade is most suitable venue for high profile games, but eugene cross park is well suited to lesser games for dragons. It helps to expand support base and will develop rugby through gwent. Good PR for dragons, well done to board, keep expanding the fan base and there is no reason the dragons cannot compete with other regions. kenny john
  • Score: 10

8:41am Sat 14 Jun 14

gelliboy says...

Its about time that the dragons will play away from Newport after all they are called Newport gwent dragons. Why not play a game at Abertillery park
Its about time that the dragons will play away from Newport after all they are called Newport gwent dragons. Why not play a game at Abertillery park gelliboy
  • Score: 4

10:45am Sat 14 Jun 14

Caerleonboy says...

gelliboy wrote:
Its about time that the dragons will play away from Newport after all they are called Newport gwent dragons. Why not play a game at Abertillery park
I don't see an issue in spreading some games around Gwent, but the problem is there aren't many big enough grounds. How many does Abertillery Park hold?
[quote][p][bold]gelliboy[/bold] wrote: Its about time that the dragons will play away from Newport after all they are called Newport gwent dragons. Why not play a game at Abertillery park[/p][/quote]I don't see an issue in spreading some games around Gwent, but the problem is there aren't many big enough grounds. How many does Abertillery Park hold? Caerleonboy
  • Score: 6

11:43am Sat 14 Jun 14

Euwan Usami says...

Caerleonboy wrote:
gelliboy wrote:
Its about time that the dragons will play away from Newport after all they are called Newport gwent dragons. Why not play a game at Abertillery park
I don't see an issue in spreading some games around Gwent, but the problem is there aren't many big enough grounds. How many does Abertillery Park hold?
In fairness this is a good point. I don't think any of the regions club grounds could really handle 5 or 6 thousand fans/cars etc on the day. Also how do you treat the ST holders? Assume they would have to have free entry regardless? I am not against the idea Personally but I think the logistics certainly are.
[quote][p][bold]Caerleonboy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gelliboy[/bold] wrote: Its about time that the dragons will play away from Newport after all they are called Newport gwent dragons. Why not play a game at Abertillery park[/p][/quote]I don't see an issue in spreading some games around Gwent, but the problem is there aren't many big enough grounds. How many does Abertillery Park hold?[/p][/quote]In fairness this is a good point. I don't think any of the regions club grounds could really handle 5 or 6 thousand fans/cars etc on the day. Also how do you treat the ST holders? Assume they would have to have free entry regardless? I am not against the idea Personally but I think the logistics certainly are. Euwan Usami
  • Score: 7

11:27pm Sun 15 Jun 14

SWBorderer says...

Surely season tickets buyers buy the right of entry to NG Dragons matches wherever they are played, if grounds other than Rodney Parade are not willing to embrace that idea then they are not embracing the concept of Regional rugby.
Surely season tickets buyers buy the right of entry to NG Dragons matches wherever they are played, if grounds other than Rodney Parade are not willing to embrace that idea then they are not embracing the concept of Regional rugby. SWBorderer
  • Score: 5

5:58pm Mon 16 Jun 14

SWBorderer says...

Will Tony Brown be allowed in this time ?
Will Tony Brown be allowed in this time ? SWBorderer
  • Score: 3

11:53pm Wed 18 Jun 14

DaiFrank says...

GogExile wrote:
As a Newport based fan I'm really looking forward to this. With the prospect of protesters in town it will probably be a welcome escape from the madness too. I certainly won't expect any travel assistance and am always amazed by how people seem to make sweeping pronouncements of the mindset of other human beings.
It's Conservative reactionaries like you who forget that 'protest' has had many positive impacts on this country and other countries such as Apartheid South Africa and many more including sport related protest and activism such as the right of women to play sport in equally reactionary Islamic countries, or are you one of those who turned or would turn a blind-eye because it gets in the way of your selfish enjoyment. BTW sport has always been and continues to be political, check your history. PS do you remember when the Scarlet fans protested against the regional changes with their banners SOS (Save Our Scarlets)? ... if only the Newport brigade had the guts to do that things may have been better. I guess if you were old enough you were sat safely on your sofa.
[quote][p][bold]GogExile[/bold] wrote: As a Newport based fan I'm really looking forward to this. With the prospect of protesters in town it will probably be a welcome escape from the madness too. I certainly won't expect any travel assistance and am always amazed by how people seem to make sweeping pronouncements of the mindset of other human beings.[/p][/quote]It's Conservative reactionaries like you who forget that 'protest' has had many positive impacts on this country and other countries such as Apartheid South Africa and many more including sport related protest and activism such as the right of women to play sport in equally reactionary Islamic countries, or are you one of those who turned or would turn a blind-eye because it gets in the way of your selfish enjoyment. BTW sport has always been and continues to be political, check your history. PS do you remember when the Scarlet fans protested against the regional changes with their banners SOS (Save Our Scarlets)? ... if only the Newport brigade had the guts to do that things may have been better. I guess if you were old enough you were sat safely on your sofa. DaiFrank
  • Score: -2

11:59pm Wed 18 Jun 14

DaiFrank says...

Newport Dave wrote:
Looking forward to this very much.

The potential of this region is enormous if the "salt to go with that chip on your shoulder?" brigade would grow up and follow the rugby instead of worrying about the petty politics.

Stop moaning and crying about it. Either go or shut up.

There are some really good people at EVRFC and I will certainly be there to mingle, make new friends and shout for the Dragons.

I suppose I COULD join the "this is total sacrilege" brigade and stay away from the match and think to myself "I didn't go, that'll show 'em".

No thanks. I think I'll do something pro-active instead of puerile.

Thanks for the reminder GogExile, I'd forgotten about the protesters until you brought it up. We now have another reason to go and watch the Dragons, while the "sacrilege" people also have somewhere they can go.
Oh yes those 'protesters' how inconvenient lol. Do you train-spot in your leisure time getting excited by the 'choo choos'?
[quote][p][bold]Newport Dave[/bold] wrote: Looking forward to this very much. The potential of this region is enormous if the "salt to go with that chip on your shoulder?" brigade would grow up and follow the rugby instead of worrying about the petty politics. Stop moaning and crying about it. Either go or shut up. There are some really good people at EVRFC and I will certainly be there to mingle, make new friends and shout for the Dragons. I suppose I COULD join the "this is total sacrilege" brigade and stay away from the match and think to myself "I didn't go, that'll show 'em". No thanks. I think I'll do something pro-active instead of puerile. Thanks for the reminder GogExile, I'd forgotten about the protesters until you brought it up. We now have another reason to go and watch the Dragons, while the "sacrilege" people also have somewhere they can go.[/p][/quote]Oh yes those 'protesters' how inconvenient lol. Do you train-spot in your leisure time getting excited by the 'choo choos'? DaiFrank
  • Score: -1

12:02am Thu 19 Jun 14

DaiFrank says...

kenny john wrote:
Apart from a few petty comments, harping back years, very positive response. Lets be honest rodney parade is most suitable venue for high profile games, but eugene cross park is well suited to lesser games for dragons. It helps to expand support base and will develop rugby through gwent.
Good PR for dragons, well done to board, keep expanding the fan base and there is no reason the dragons cannot compete with other regions.
Why do you congratulate the 'board'? They've been forced to play this game away from RP because of the NATO summit (whoops that's politics). Read the article.
[quote][p][bold]kenny john[/bold] wrote: Apart from a few petty comments, harping back years, very positive response. Lets be honest rodney parade is most suitable venue for high profile games, but eugene cross park is well suited to lesser games for dragons. It helps to expand support base and will develop rugby through gwent. Good PR for dragons, well done to board, keep expanding the fan base and there is no reason the dragons cannot compete with other regions.[/p][/quote]Why do you congratulate the 'board'? They've been forced to play this game away from RP because of the NATO summit (whoops that's politics). Read the article. DaiFrank
  • Score: -2

6:47pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Robert Shillabeer says...

Newport Dave wrote:
Looking forward to this very much.

The potential of this region is enormous if the "salt to go with that chip on your shoulder?" brigade would grow up and follow the rugby instead of worrying about the petty politics.

Stop moaning and crying about it. Either go or shut up.

There are some really good people at EVRFC and I will certainly be there to mingle, make new friends and shout for the Dragons.

I suppose I COULD join the "this is total sacrilege" brigade and stay away from the match and think to myself "I didn't go, that'll show 'em".

No thanks. I think I'll do something pro-active instead of puerile.

Thanks for the reminder GogExile, I'd forgotten about the protesters until you brought it up. We now have another reason to go and watch the Dragons, while the "sacrilege" people also have somewhere they can go.
Great Newport Dave, that will make at least four of us as two of my mates from NEWPORT are going as well, we may even meet and have a pint in the club house to mark the occasion, see you there mate.
[quote][p][bold]Newport Dave[/bold] wrote: Looking forward to this very much. The potential of this region is enormous if the "salt to go with that chip on your shoulder?" brigade would grow up and follow the rugby instead of worrying about the petty politics. Stop moaning and crying about it. Either go or shut up. There are some really good people at EVRFC and I will certainly be there to mingle, make new friends and shout for the Dragons. I suppose I COULD join the "this is total sacrilege" brigade and stay away from the match and think to myself "I didn't go, that'll show 'em". No thanks. I think I'll do something pro-active instead of puerile. Thanks for the reminder GogExile, I'd forgotten about the protesters until you brought it up. We now have another reason to go and watch the Dragons, while the "sacrilege" people also have somewhere they can go.[/p][/quote]Great Newport Dave, that will make at least four of us as two of my mates from NEWPORT are going as well, we may even meet and have a pint in the club house to mark the occasion, see you there mate. Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 2

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