IT’S another busy week down at Rodney Parade with Newport County AFC in Carabao Cup action tonight before Wales take on England in their crucial Women’s World Cup qualifier on Friday night and the Dragons kick-off their new Pro14 campaign on Saturday.

I hesitate to use the F-word but County appear to be making their home ground something of a fortress once again and hopefully the feel-good factor around the famous old stadium can rub off on Wales and the Dragons.

The Exiles lost just four out of 23 league games in Newport last season, as well as beating League Two rivals Cambridge United, League One club Walsall and Championship giants Leeds United and holding Premier League big boys Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup at Rodney Parade.

And Michael Flynn’s men have started the new season with three wins out of three at home as Crewe Alexandra, Notts County and Grimsby Town have each been sent home empty-handed.

They will hope to continue that 100 per cent record when they host League One Oxford United in the cup tonight.

It’s an important game because the club is desperate for another financial boost, which a win this evening and a lucky dip in Thursday’s third-round draw could well provide.

Winning or losing tonight could also be the difference between Flynn being able to bring in another loan signing before Friday’s deadline or making do with what he’s got until January.

But a Carabao Cup second-round tie is not the biggest game of the week at Rodney Parade.

And neither is the Dragons’ much-anticipated season-opener against Benetton Rugby, despite the need for Bernard Jackman’s team to start with a bang and silence some of their critics.

No, without doubt the most important match is the Battle of Britain between Jayne Ludlow’s Wales and Phil Neville’s Lionesses.

It has to be because Wales are on the brink of qualifying for a World Cup for the first time since 1958.

The men’s team may have made history of their own by storming to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 but even Gareth Bale hasn’t been able to get his nation to the world’s biggest stage just yet.

Wales are a point ahead of England in Group 1, having played one game more, and they know that victory on Friday will secure their place at the 2019 World Cup in France.

A win for England will see them go through and a draw would mean they will top the group with victory in Kazakhstan on September 4.

The sides drew 0-0 at Southampton earlier this year thanks to a superb performance from goalkeeper Laura O’Sullivan and, remarkably, Wales have yet to concede a goal in qualifying.

But Ludlow knows another stalemate will not be good enough and a win for her team, the majority of whom are semi-pros, will be a tall order against the English superstars who won bronze at the last World Cup in Canada.

And that explains why the Football Association of Wales chose the intimidating arena of Rodney Parade for the biggest match in the history of the women’s national team.

"Wales will be determined to make the most of home advantage and their crowd will be expecting a victory,” said Neville, who was no stranger to big occasions during his playing days with Manchester United.

"We will have to be at our very best to get the result we need and no-one in our squad is looking beyond this match."

There have been murmurings of discontent from the other side of the border about the choice of venue but Rodney Parade should create the kind of atmosphere that will suit Wales best.

Former Wales international Gwennan Harries will be at the match in her capacity as a BBC pundit and she’s convinced Newport is the right place for it.

“A lot of fuss has been made about Rodney Parade but winning this game could be life changing for the Wales players,” said Harries. “It would have been a bit silly to play somewhere bigger which would have made it easier for England.

“Rodney Parade was sold out within 24 hours, which is huge. We’ve never had interest like this before; our previous record crowd was around 4,000.

“I don’t think Jayne looked at playing the game at a bigger venue, and rightly so. Ninety-nine per cent of coaches would do the same and choose a ground offering them maximum advantage.”

Sophie Ingle, Jessica Fishlock and teammates can make history on Friday night and what better place to do it?