NEWPORT RFC are exploring the possibility of setting up a permanent training base but the Black and Ambers have no intention of leaving their historic Rodney Parade home, writes Chris Kirwan.

In May the club’s shareholders agreed to sell their ground to the Welsh Rugby Union as part of their takeover of the Dragons.

The agreement between the governing body and the region’s board needed approval from 75 per cent of voters and 81 per cent gave the green light.

That meant the WRU paid £2.85 million for the nine-acre site with the Black and Ambers receiving a cash sum of £600,000 and being left debt-free.

The governing body gave assurances to the Principality Premiership club that they can play at Rodney Parade while it is home to a professional side, with that right being free of rent for the first 10 years.

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Even though they now only open the Bisley Stand, the Black and Ambers have been surprised by the scale of some matchday costs. 

They also appreciate the clock is ticking regarding their use of the ‘cabbage patch’ to the north of the playing area.

They have been guaranteed the use of that grass surface for a year but the Argus understands that, with the clubhouse now empty and the land earmarked for development, club officials have already started thinking about 2018/19 and beyond.

However, any development within the city would not be a signal of the Black and Ambers being forced out of the ground, which is also home to the Dragons and Newport County.

“Rodney Parade is the home of Newport rugby,” said secretary and board member Dennis Bennett. “Any difficulties that we have been encountering, we are moving towards overcoming.

“There have been some teething troubles on costs but the plan is to continue playing here and in time the problems will be ironed out.”

Newport’s next home game, against Bedwas in the Premiership, is likely to move after the Exiles were drawn out first in their FA Cup tie with Walsall scheduled for Saturday, November 4.