NEWPORT RFC want to stay at Rodney Parade and intend to challenge the price hike to play at their historic home.

The Black and Ambers sold the ground to the Welsh Rugby Union in the summer of 2017 as part of the governing body's takeover of the Dragons.

Newport were initially asked to pay a sum of £700 per match but that has risen to £2,500 for this season.

The Dragons state that the operating cost for a Black and Ambers fixtures – which includes groundstaff and pitch preparation, stewarding, kitchen staff and players' food, utilities and matchday planning – is just over £3,000.

READ MORE: Newport must cover costs to play at Rodney Parade - Buttress

However, Newport RFC feel that they are being asked to pay for things that are not needed by a Premiership club, and that were not in the agreement they signed in the sale of the nine-acre site two years ago.

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"Following speculation in the press and on social media, the board of Newport RFC had the opportunity to discuss their concerns with the club shareholders at the recent AGM and also with the Black and Ambers supporters at a Q&A session," read a club statement.

"The directors spoke of the problems caused by poor communication with the club from the Dragons management team and the recent substantial increases in matchday fees.

"They outlined their opinion that the club are being asked to pay for items that they shouldn't be liable for under the terms of the venue use agreement put in place as part of the sale of Rodney Parade to the WRU in 2017 and of the difficulty that has arisen resolving these issues."

The Newport board said at the AGM that they were looking at contingency plans but that their intention is to remain at the ground where they have beaten New Zealand, South Africa Australia – and that they want it to feel like home.

The club's directors are meeting with Dragons chairman David Buttress this week and are hopeful of reaching an agreement.

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"The directors were clear in stating that their objective is to continue to play at Rodney Parade and the need for a home for the club," said the statement.

"Rodney Parade has been Newport Rugby's home for over 140 years and the directors very much want that to continue to be the case.

"The directors are also looking forward to meeting with David Buttress in the coming week to resume dialogue to reach a satisfactory agreement to resolve the outstanding issues."

Buttress told the Argus last week that Newport had to consider whether Rodney Parade was suited to them if the £2,500 fee was too high.

"We are not asking for profit, they will have to cover the cost," he said. "If they genuinely can't cover the cost, then I would say to their fans and committee that they really need to think long-term about what the right sort of venue is for them.

"Is a professional venue right for you if this is too much money for a stadium with a state-of-the-art pitch?

"If that's not worth the money then you should probably have to think about what's best for the future, because you won't get it cheaper and you won't get a better operational team."

The Black and Ambers will this season play 11 home fixtures in the Premiership, suffered a home defeat to Carmarthen Quins in the WRU National Cup and did not qualify for the cross-border competition with Scottish rivals.

If they qualify for next season's tournament with the Scots by finishing in the top six then they would have three extra home fixtures.

Rodney Parade is home to the Dragons, Newport RFC and Newport County while the Football Association of Wales has also hired the ground this season to host women's and under-19s international games.

The Dragons crushing defeat to Zebre last weekend was the 30th fixture of the season at the venue.