Newport Gwent Dragons confirm venue switch to avoid Exiles clash

Rodney Parade
Newport County share Rodney Parade with two rugby teams - Newport Gwent Dragons and Newport RFC

Newport Gwent Dragons will move their final Pro12 game of the season to Caerphilly RFC to avoid a clash with Newport County on 6 May.

The Exiles host Notts County (17:30 BST) on the final day of the League Two season, while Dragons have a home game against Cardiff Blues (17:15 BST).

The Dragons also considered Ebbw Vale RFC and Cross Keys RFC as an alternative to Rodney Parade.

"We considered a range of factors," chief executive Stuart Davies said.

"We consulted with a large number of stakeholders and commercial partners to allow us to make a decision as to which ground is the most appropriate to host this match," Davies continued.

"We would like to extend our thanks to Ebbw Vale, Cross Keys and Caerphilly rugby clubs as well as the Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent Councils for their efforts and warm welcomes."

Caerphilly's Constructaquote Stadium is better known as Virginia Park.

Months in the making

Davies had previously explained his dissatisfaction with the situation.

"As soon as the Dragons' fixtures were announced in June, and before a ball was kicked this season, we asked Newport County to liaise with the English Football League over re-arranging their game, given the importance to us of the Blues match.

"Their initial response was very positive, but only recently have details of their efforts in that respect become apparent, as has the intransigence of the EFL on this issue."

Despite Newport rugby club owning the ground and the rugby region Dragons attracting the biggest crowds, football club Newport County have primacy of tenancy when it comes to the fixture list, because of Football Association rules.

The Exiles have a 10-year lease to remain at Rodney Parade until 2023 but there has not been a fixture clash of this nature since County moved to Rodney Parade in 2012.

Newport County's status at Rodney Parade could be further complicated by the news this week that the WRU has confirmed it intends to take "operational control" of the region by 1 July.

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