From the match programme:-
"Allan Lewis' Summer Log"
"Keeping one's feet firmly on the ground has always been the ALLAN LEWIS way. Here the coach reflects on last season's achievements and looks ahead at what is in store for the Black and Ambers."
"It's not always wise to look back on what was or what might have been, but having finished second in the Welsh Scottish League, I think we can justifiably feel delighted with our domestic return last term."
"Our main aim, at the outset, was to finish in the top five. That, as all the clubs knew, would guarantee us a place in the Heineken Cup and that was what this club needed more than anything else."
"So to finish second, behind Cardiff but in front of Llanelli, Swansea and Pontypridd, was satisfying to say the least."
"These are exciting times for Newport for the club, the town and for Gwent rugby. I suppose, without wishing to sound like too many other rugby commentators, we hope this is the beginning of a new era at Rodney Parade. We have a tough group in the Heineken Cup, there is no doubt about that. Munster, as they proved last season by reaching the final, Bath and Castres are all formidable sides. But if you want to measure yourself in terms of progress, you have to play against the best sides. Munster, coached by Declan Kidney and fired up by a wonderful band of supporters, are unbeaten at home in European competition and as last year's finalists, having beaten Toulouse, Stade Francais and Colomiers on the way, they will be hard to beat, especially on their own turf. Bath are former winners and have a very exciting back line while Castres beat us twice in the European Shield last season on the way to the final."
"We are probably the underdogs in the pool, but you can't do anything about that. But one thing's for sure - we will not be cannon fodder. We want to do well, perform to the best of our ability and if we can, qualify for the quarter-final stage at least. That is the immediate aim in terms of European rugby. While we achieved our best league position last season, we did appreciate that we were possibly not in a position to compete on two fronts the Welsh/Scottish League and domestic scene as well as in Europe. That is why we have gone out in the closed season and recruited some top class players in Ian Gough, Adrian Garvey and Irish wing Matt Mostyn."
"Our tour to South Africa for Gary Teichmann's testimonial match was a huge success in playing terms but most of all because of the spirit that was shown in the camp throughout the tour. Being together as a whole squad really cemented the spirit that had been developing throughout last season. It's back to the grindstone now though and Trystan Bevan has been working hard on the players' fitness levels since pre-season training began a month ago. We have just come back from a week's pre-season training at TREC, a fitness and training centre in Brecon where team-building was the key word. We tested ourselves on the army training assault course at Senny Bridge and there was also a lot of off-the-field psychological tuning. So these two challenge matches against Bristol and Leeds will add some top level match practice to our preparation. By the time we play Llanelli on August 26 we will be raring to go."
"Dwi'n falch i weld y garfan yn ol gyda'u gilydd ar ol haf prysur iawn. Mae llawer ohonyn nhw wedi teithio i bedwar ban byd i chwarae dros eu gwledydd gwahanol ers ein taith i'r De Affrig. Gorffenon ni'r tymor diwethaf yn dda a mae'r tim i gyd yn edrych ymlaen nawr i tymor cyffrous, cystadleuol a llwyddiannus."
"Phil comes home - with his northern raiders"
"When the invaders from Leeds arrive at Rodney Parade on August 19 they will be led by a very familiar face. Since the summer of 1996, one of Wales' most capped international stars has been beavering away at Headingley trying to turn Leeds into one of the top sides in England."
"Phil Davies was never one to shirk his duties when he was packing down for Llanelli or Wales and he has already taken Leeds, formed out of an amalgamation of Harrogate and Headingley in the nineties, from the third division to within touching distance of the top flight. And with arch-promotion rivals Worcester first-up in the league this season, the 46-times capped Davies has gone back to his roots for some pre-season inspiration."
"We're playing Bridgend and Newport in our build-up games to the start of the season on August 26," said Davies.
"I wanted to ensure we had some top flight matches before we launch our league campaign so the players hit the ground running. The game at Newport will be a really hard test for us and I'm sure we are going to learn a lot from that match."
"I have to say I've been admiring from a distance what Tony Brown has been doing at Newport. I had a few battles at Rodney Parade with the likes of David Waters, Richard Goodey and Chris Wyatt, but what happened there last season was incredible."
"It's not all about the big name signings. By installing Allan Lewis as head coach I think the club took an even bigger step forward than they did with the signing of any of their star players."
"You have got to get it right off the field before it will come right on it. That is one of the biggest lessons I've learned at Leeds in my four years here. You have to get your infrastructure right, you have to have the right personnel in place and you have to have a plan."
"From what I can see, Tony Brown has put in place all the right component parts to help take Newport right back to the top of the tree in Welsh rugby."
"Their blueprint is almost exactly the same as ours at Leeds and I hope in a few seasons' time we will be playing each other on a regular basis in the Heineken Cup and maybe even in a British Cup or League competition."
"Having finished second in the Allied Dunbar Premiership Two table last season, Davies' Leeds team got close, but not close enough to joining the top 12 teams in England. Having recruited Samoan outside half Steven Bachop, England reserve scrum-half Scott Benton and Samoan No.8 Isaac Fenunati in the summer, Leeds will have greater experience in key positions this season."
"We have been competitive in Premiership Two over the past two seasons. Now it is time for us to break into the top flight," said Davies.
"We will learn a great deal from our games against Bridgend and Newport and I hope we are up to their standard by the end of the season."