NEWPORT captain Rhys Jenkins will aim to force his way into the Black and Ambers’ WRU National Cup final team when he makes his return from injury this afternoon, writes Chris Kirwan.

The influential back row forward has been out of action since suffering an ankle injury in December but is back for today’s trip to Aberavon in the Principality Premiership.

The 27-year-old will hope to lead from the front in a team that includes a number of players on permit as head coach Craig Warlow protects those that will take on Merthyr at Principality Stadium next weekend.

Wales Under-20s tighthead Chris Coleman will also makes his return from a shoulder injury; the Dragons prospect is among the replacements.

Newport sit fifth in the table and will be chasing a high finish, but for now their prime concern is winning silverware.

There are a pair of landmark appearances at Bridge Field and Eugene Cross Park this afternoon.

Cross Keys stalwart Tom Lampard will bring up 350 appearances when he features against Bedwas.

Ninth-placed Keys are in good form thanks to a pair of fine home successes against Cardiff and Llandovery.

Eighth-placed Bedwas have been hindered by a lengthy injury list, although they can take encouragement from pushing RGC 1404 hard in Colwyn Bay last week when they returned with a losing bonus for their toil.

Ebbw Vale prop Ross Jones brings up his 200th appearance for the Steelmen when they attempt to repeat their stunning cup upset against RGC.

The loosehead moved to Eugene Cross Park eight years ago from Bargoed following their relegation to Division One East.

Jones became a key figure in Ebbw’s return to the top flight and Premiership triumph in 2016.

Greg Woods' men sit 10th in the table but have games in hand over those above them, plus they upset third-placed RGC 16-14 in round one of the cup in January at Eugene Cross Park.

Bargoed are playing catch-up after only having played eight fixtures. Today they entertain in-form Pontypridd.

Merthyr have a commanding lead at the head of the table and the champions can take a giant leap towards defending their crown if they overcome second-placed Carmarthen Quins at the Wern.

Fixtures: Aberavon v Newport, Bargoed v Pontypridd, Bedwas v Cross Keys, Bridgend v Swansea, Ebbw Vale v RGC 1404, Merthyr v Carmarthen Quins, Neath v Llandovery