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Newport handed boost as Perry is back in the mix

Newport’s head of rugby Bob Adams has been handed a pre-season boost with the return of key man Chris Perry.

The influential centre was sidelined last October with a knee injury and had to watch from the sidelines as the club powered their way to the Midlands Premier title and promotion to the National League 2 West.

But Adams, who is also the club’s head coach, has revealed that Perry is back in training and could be in contention for the opening game of the season at Old Redcliffians on September 3.

“Should be back for the opening game of the season.

“Chris has not been available since the end of October, we missed him for two thirds of the season,” said Adams, who side enjoyed a 19-10 pre-season victory against Burton last week.

“He had a knee injury, he didn’t need surgery but he had to have the correct rehabilitation and strengthen the area around his knee.

“He is an important player for us and one of the first names on the teamsheet.

“I said to one of the coaches that although he is a familiar face, having him back will be like a new signing for us.

“It will be a bonus for us to have him back for the start of the season. It might be that we will have to build up his game time but we will see how things go.”

But new signing Keifer Laxton is set to miss the start of the season.

“Keifer Laxton has had minor surgery on his knee to clean it out,” said Adams.

“He will miss the first game but we are hoping he will be back for the second one.”

n Bridgnorth Rugby head coach Bryan Smallman is backing his new signings to make an impact this season.

The All Blacks included summer arrivals Ethan Cole, Adam Mellis and Trafford Dixon in their line-up as they continued their build up to the Regional 1 Midlands campaign with a warm-up clash against Builth Wells.

The trio helped a mixed Bridgnorth squad to a 19-19 draw with their Welsh visitors.

“Ethan, Adam and Trafford are all very good players and I think they will add a great deal to the performance squad,” said Smallman.

“They showed some real energy and passion playing for first time on Saturday, which I think will put us into a good place

“The squad is looking a little stronger now with these people joining us. Are we stronger than last year? I think its still balanced because we have lost a few forwards but gained a few backs.”

Bridgnorth kick-off their season at Syston on September 3 and Smallman was pleased with last Saturday’s run out.

“It was a very physical game,” he said. “Builth Wells travelled two hours to come and play us and they didn’t disappoint.

“It was an extremely attritional game, they didn’t miss much in terms of the tackle.

“They put a lot of pressure on us at the breakdown and won some ball off us.

“It was good to try and get cobwebs off and see little areas were we think we could improve.”

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