The two best semi-professional rugby teams in Wales will go head to head in a battle for a place at the top of the Welsh Premiership on Thursday night.

Newport and Llandovery RFC are miles ahead of the rest at the top of the league on 90 points, which is over 60 more than teams such as Neath and Carmarthen at the other end of the table.

Victory is important for Newport, who have played one more game than Llandovery, and they will be seeking to put an end to the Drovers' remarkable 17-game winning streak with just a few games left in the league campaign.

The Black and Ambers are on an eleven-game winning streak themselves, though, and have the added advantage of being on home soil. The top four teams at the end of the season will enter the play-offs to be crowned overall champions.

Newport team manager Mark Workman said: “We are the two teams that probably play the most attractive rugby. We score lots of good tries so it promises to be a really open and exciting game.

“I’d like to think there will be a home advantage with it being on a Thursday night under the lights – it’s always a good occasion.

“The boys will see this game as a bit of a challenge. Llandovery have gone a massive 17 games unbeaten so it’s an opportunity for us to end that run."

Llandovery are leading the way this season, beating big rivals like Cardiff RFC. The only team to beat the Drovers so far this season are Ebbw Vale, who are in third place and 19 points adrift.

Llandovery's success is thanks to the balance in their squad, says Head Coach Euros Evans.

He said: “We have got some experienced players and some young academy players in our mix. That blend is working well for us - the younger players are developing and growing and the older players are helping them on that journey.

“Home advantage will be big for Newport, especially on a Thursday night. The travel element has a part to play there. Newport are really strong and they have had a really good run of wins and they will be ferocious on their home patch. We know the challenge is going to be a big one but we are excited.

“The boys work really hard all year to be in the position where you play these big games. It’s great it is on TV and hopefully we can put a performance in and a spectacle for the fans to enjoy.

“In terms of selection, if we hadn’t had the cup final a week later maybe we would have made a different selection, but the team selected is one we are very comfortable with and we are confident that they can do a good job for us.”

Ten teams are leaving the Indigo Premiership next season and entering the Welsh Rugby Union’s new league, the Elite Domestic Competition (EDC), that aims to better bridge the gap to professional rugby.

Though it’s a big change for lots of Welsh teams, a higher standard of rugby is an exciting prospect for all ten teams involved.

READ MORE: WRU announce teams chosen to compete in new league

“We like to think we will be just as successful next season in the EDC and I’m sure every club have got the same aspiration. We have got plans in place to make sure that our squad is competitive for next year and are hopeful we can maintain the high standards we are setting,” said Evans.

“Fortunately for us we have always had quite a close relationship with the Scarlets in terms of the development of players so we don’t expect a great deal of change from that perspective.”

Kick-off is 7.30pm at Newport Stadium. You can buy tickets online or watch at home via S4C Clic.

Line ups:

Newport: 15 Jacob Lloyd, 14 Iwan Pyrs Jones, 13 Chay Foster-Smith, 12 Jon Morris, 11 Lloyd Lewis, 10 Matt O’Brian, 9 Che Hope, 1 Josh Reynolds, 2 Wade Langley, 3 Chris Davies, 4 Elliot Ferriman, 5 Rynard Landman, 6 Josh Reid, 7 Kyle Tayler, 8 Ben Roach (Captain).

Replacements: Henry Palmer, Tom Workman, Christian Brooke, Tom Caple, Lewis David, Dafydd Buckland, Iestyn Galton, Lewis Bates.

Llandovery: 15 Jac Davies, 14 Harri Doel (50th appearance), 13 Macs Page, 12 Rhodri Jones, 11 Kian Abraham, 10 Jack Maynard, 9 Dafydd Land, 1 Jamie Hughes, 2 Craig Thomas, 3 Berian Watkins, ⁠4 Jack Jones (Captain), 5 Chris Long, 6 Joe Powell, 7 Jordan Evans, 8 Nathan Hart.

Replacements: Josh Morse, Harry Thomas, Guto Jones, Osian Davies, Stuart Worrall, Ilan Phillips, Sam Potter, Lee Rees.