Newport faced problems in 1898-99. J. B. Smithson, T. Pearson, B. Dauncey and M. Hannan had retired, Ll. Lloyd was in London leaving only Reg Skrimshire and Lou Phillips of the backs. The committee asked Arthur Boucher not to retire and take on the captaincy and to his credit he did a great job under difficult circumstances. Jehoida Hodges came into his own and with George Boots played in the last Wales match of the season. Boots retained his place and played in every Wales match until 1904. Hodges kept his place until 1906 including the famous win over New Zealand in 1905.
Ll. Lloyd was outstanding and among the new names were Hubert Alexander and J. E. C. 'Birdie' Partridge. Percy Pritchard made a great start but went off to the South African War and so ended his career while W. H. Williams was an untiring forward. 39 different players were used with Arthur Gould playing 1 match. Lou Phillips and George Boots played in all 24 matches and W. H. Williams in 23. Arthur Boucher was top scorer with 5t, 2p,3dg and Skrimshire and Alexander each score 9t but a surprisingly low number of points - only 192 - were scored by the team.