Newport strengthen their pack as RAF forward flies into Shropshire
Rugby director Bob Adams has added front row forward Kev Raqio to his ranks.
Raqio came from the Old Albanian RFC and follows his brother Josh, who joined Forton Road from Hinckley a few weeks ago.
Adams was keen to add some ball carrying power to his side and hooker Raqio fits right in.
“Raqio plays for the RAF and is an established Nordic athlete,” said Adams. “We lost a few players to injuries and wanted to add a little more ball carrying power in certain areas.
“Hendy Vaka is out with work commitments and Kieran Forbes is injured so we’re also missing ball carriers down the middle and in eighth place and we’re trying to address that.” who is ranked 13th in the National League Two West and one place and three points behind Newport.
“It’s a very important game for us on Saturday,” said Adams. “After our game was canceled last weekend, a couple of teams passed us.
“Bromsgrove is just below us in the table but we beat them earlier in the season and hopefully we can go there and perform well and come out on the right side of the scoreboard.
“We took some good points from our last game against Luctonians and we want to build on that.”
Bridgnorth will be keen to try more home comforts when they wrap up 2022 on Saturday.
The fourth-placed All Blacks host a Burton side that sits one spot below them in Regional One Midlands.
Bridgnorth beat this weekend’s opponents in a close game early in the season, 18-12, and head coach Bryan Smallman is expecting another tough afternoon.
“I’ve said before that there are no bad teams in this division and I think Burton is one of the best,” Smallman said. “They will come with a lot of weaponry and they are a well-trained team.
“We managed to slip into the game in their place. We denied them the ball and managed to control the game. It will be very difficult to repeat that, but we have to do it.”
Smallman’s men will go into the duel after winning every home game this season and he is keen for them to maintain that form.
“The players highlighted our home form before the start of the season and said we have to make it difficult for the teams that are coming,” Smallman added. “And so far we’ve managed to do that and our home form will be a key factor, especially as there are more home games than away games after Christmas.
“Hopefully we can continue in this direction.
“After last weekend’s game was canceled it would be nice if we could play some rugby before half-time.”
Ludlow head coach Mikey Jones is looking for his side to return to winning ways and end 2022 on a high.
Jones’ side play their final game of the year at Regional Two West Midlands rugby rivals Wolverhampton on Saturday after suffering a recent dip in form.
After starting the season with seven straight wins, Ludlow slipped to fourth in the table after four losses in the last five games.
Injuries and availability issues have not helped and Jones will be without six players on Saturday due to a ski trip.
“Wolverhampton is a difficult place to get a result but it would be nice to end the year with a win,” said Jones. “The lads have been training well and are looking forward to it and are keen to see some action after the game was canceled last week.
“We’ve set ourselves high standards and we have to respond to this recent run.
“I really don’t think the teams we lost to are any better than us. They were only on that particular day.
“We’ve got a good group of guys here and there’s no reason why we can’t turn that around and challenge back to the top.
“The top five or six will be very close all season.”