Newport County reassured over their future at Rodney Parade

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Rodney Parade: Newport County have 'agreement' to use ground

Newport RFC and Newport Gwent Dragons have moved to reassure Newport County they have a future at Rodney Parade.

The Dragons are subject to a takeover bid from the WRU who have said they see Rodney Parade 'as a rugby venue.'

The League Two club has a lease to use the ground - and have first call on the venue if they remain in their current division - until 2023.

"The situation you have got with County is they have an agreement," Newport RFC chairman Will Godfrey explained.

In 2013 the Exiles agreed a 10-year lease to use the stadium after gaining promotion to the Football League from the Conference (now the National League).

"I haven't spoken to Newport County. We are the union of [rugby] clubs and we have put several million [pounds] in," WRU chief Martyn Phillips said at the launch of the proposed takeover.

"It is as rugby venue. We will have to talk to Newport County about where that leaves them.

"They have a licence to play there and we are aware about that. We would like to put a 4G pitch in.

"The fact we are putting a few million in means we get to call the shots."

The Football League does not allow teams to play on 4G pitches.

Godfrey says both Newport County and Newport Squash Club, who are also based at Rodney Parade, are protected under their current agreements and says the WRU have been made aware of that fact.

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"The situation you have got with both the County and Newport squash club is they have got agreements," he confirmed.

"The WRU have been fully privy to what has been involved in those agreements.

"Those agreements will continue to stand."

Dragons chief executive Stuart Davies says if the takeover is ratified at a Newport RFC shareholders' meeting on 9 May, he will ensure discussions between the Union and Newport County.

The Exiles are already selling season tickets for next season on the basis of playing at Rodney Parade.

"We will put the two parties together and they will pick up (discussions)," Davies said.

"There has been full transparency in terms of the lease agreements that have been put in place.

"I think the Union now will contact the individual parties and pick up the discussions."

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