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Newport ready to ring changes for derby tie

Rugby | Published:

Skipper Calum Madden returns as Bridgnorth prepare for a tasty North Midlands Cup clash with Shropshire rivals Newport tomorrow.

Head Coach Bob Adams giving a brief talk before training

Newport will be resting most of their first-choice XV with director of rugby Bob Adams admitting he wanted the game called off.

Adams is disappointed his request for the Midlands Premier league fixture in February to be played as a double header was rejected.

"I'm not a great fan of the North Midlands Cup if the truth be told," said Adams. "It's a bit of a distraction.

"It's not like it used to be years ago when it led to something and a prestigious final.

"Myself and their director of rugby were trying to get the fixture moved but North Mids have forced both teams to play the game.

"They talk about player safety and welfare yet I know I could do with a weekend off, so I'm sure the players feel the same.

"We have a few players unavailable anyway because it was originally a free weekend and some of them understandably made other plans."

While he would rather the game was not being played, Adams accepts it offers an opportunity for members of his squad to stake a claim.

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And it offers Newport a chance to gain revenge for their 24-13 defeat to Bridgnorth at Forton Road at the start of November.

"We learned quite a lot that day," admitted Adams. "The way we played against them wasn't Newport and there were some home truths told after.

"We had been playing a bit negative but, since we have gone back to what we think we are best at, the results have followed. The win against Bromsgrove was probably our best performance of the season."

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