Newport had a good season in 1881-82 again under captain Will Phillips. The season also saw the end of his career while George Rosser ruptured his lung against Swansea and after a long illness retired. It was a big loss as Rosser had shown that he was a clever runner and probably the fastest threequarters in Wales.
Regular players included George Reynolds, Fred Phillips (brother of Walter, Clifford and Will) - fine runner and threequarter and ex-captain of Swindon. Newport still played 10 forwards, often with 2 backs, 1 threequarter and two halves ie no full-back. In the second half of the season they reverted mainly to the orthodox 1 back, 3 threequarters, 2 halves and 9 forwards. Newport won the South Wales Challenge Cup beating Pontypridd, Pontypool, Cardiff and Llanelly (after a replay).