Theo Harding continued as captain in 1888-89 but the record was not quite as good as the previous year. Blackheath, Richmond, Cambridge University, The Maoris, Moseley, Oxford University, Wellington, Oldham as well as Cardiff (4), Swansea (4) and Neath meant that this was the most challenging fixture list ever for Newport. The 9 defeats were Cardiff (3), Swansea, Llanelly, Cambridge University, The Maoris, Gloucester and Moseley. New players included Bert Dauncey (wing), Harry Day (forward) and T. Newcombe. The season was still successful in spite of losing more than 6 matches in a season for the first time.
38 players were used and T. Downe, T. Edwards and Harry Day played in 28 - 30 matches. Charlie Thomas scored at least 11 tries and a dropped goal while George Thomas scored at least 10 tries.