NEWPORT have named teenager Ollie Griffiths as their new club captain and will hope the all-action openside can inspire them to victory at Bedwas tomorrow afternoon.
The 19-year-old Wales Under-20s international takes over the reins from Lee Beach, who left in the summer to rejoin Neath.
The Black and Ambers boast seasoned campaigners in their ranks in the form of Andrew Brown, Adam Frampton, Adam Brown and Brendan Lampitt but head coach Sven Cronk has opted for talented flanker Griffiths.
The Dragons academy prospect has made 21 appearances for the club since making his debut in 2012 and Cronk believes his all-action style makes him the perfect fit despite his tender years.
"We felt that we needed someone who leads with action rather than words and Ollie is involved in everything on the field," he said..
"Ollie is on the top of his game – he is fit, tackles and works his socks off, both in games and in training. That's the sort of attitude that we need and his appointment has been really well received.
"There's no shortage of senior player to help him out when needed but Ollie should freshen things up a bit."
Griffiths will be in the thick of the action against a formidable Bedwas pack at Bridge Field tomorrow in a British and Irish Cup qualifier.
The victors will meet either Cross Keys or Ebbw Vale for the right to take on Cornish Pirates, Bedford and Doncaster and Cronk expects a typically uncompromising Gwent derby.
"We know what we will get against Bedwas," he said. "They always have a well-organised pack that keeps coming around the corner.
"It's always a tough game against them but we are buoyant after a good pre-season. Some new faces have freshened things up and they fought well in friendlies against Blackheath and Ealing when we were low on numbers against 40-man squads."
Bedwas enjoyed a super 31-0 friendly success against Keys last week but head coach Steve Law knows that such victories count for little when the real rugby gets under way.
He said: "We've prepared well and worked hard in pre-season but who knows what to expect on the first game of the season?
"On paper Newport have a strong side and it should be one hell of a game between two sides going eyeballs out."
Bedwas are without back row forward Deri Mattravers, hooker Rhys Hutcherson and tighthead Joe Mills.