THE Dragons and Newport RFC have reached a “long term agreement” that will see them play two games for free at Rodney Parade every season while hosting other fixtures at Spytty Park.

The Black and Ambers will take on Merthyr in the Premiership Cup at the International Sports Village on Saturday.

They hosted Cardiff at their historic home, which they sold to the Welsh Rugby Union in 2017 as part of the takeover of the Dragons, last month but will now shift to Spytty Park.

The move was instigated by Newport because of the costs of playing at the professional venue, where they were third in the pecking order behind the Dragons and Newport County AFC.

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Chairman Will Godfrey, said: “This is an opportunity for Newport RFC to have greater control over its match day experience, whilst still retaining strong links with Rodney Parade.

“We feel club rugby should be played on Saturday afternoons and recognise the demands at Rodney Parade with three sides playing there.

“We are delighted we have found a solution that suits both Dragons and Newport RFC and that Newport RFC will continue to play some games there each year.

“Newport RFC would like to express their thanks to David Buttress, Mark Jones and the management team at Dragons for their support on resolving the issues and especially for their ongoing assistance in the preparation for games at Newport Stadium.”

The National Wales: MOVE: Newport RFC will play at Spytty ParkMOVE: Newport RFC will play at Spytty Park

Dragons chairman David Buttress has hailed the compromise that will ensure the Black and Ambers still play at the ground where they have beaten the All Blacks, South Africa and Australia.

He said: “The history of Newport RFC and Rodney Parade is very important to me, so I wanted to make sure we had a sustainable way of retaining that relationship between the club and the ground in the long-term.

“It’s been crucial throughout this process to find a practicable solution for Rodney Parade, as a sportsground, that supports the best interests of all stakeholders: Dragons Rugby, Newport County and Newport RFC.

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“I am grateful to Will Godfrey and (Dragons managing director) Mark Jones for all the hard work that has gone in to reaching this mutual agreement that will ensure Newport RFC’s long-term future at Rodney Parade.”

Spytty Park is run by Newport Live and is the Exiles' training base, although former boss Michael Flynn was unhappy at availability issues.

His side have occasionally had to prepare for games at Undy AFC and Caerleon AFC.

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