Bedford Blues are delighted to announce five new players who are joining the Blues Academy Development Squad for the 2017/18 season.

They have trained all the summer pre-season with the Blues first team squad, with their Strength & Conditioning programmes being overseen by Sean Vine, the Blues S&C coach.  If they are not playing for the Blues, they will play with a partner club in the National Leagues where they will have the opportunity to develop by playing regular league rugby. 

Joe Britton:
Britton, an 18 year old back row, was born in Northampton and went to Northampton School for Boys, where he was part of the NatWest Vase Winning side in 2016.  He was in the Northampton Saints Academy last season.  Before joining Saints he played junior rugby for Wellingborough and Old Northamptonians.  Joe will be working on the family farm, and as a lifeguard, and will be playing on loan at Cambridge this season.

Joe Green:
Green, an 18 year old full back, was born in Chapel Brampton, Northampton, and went to Oundle School.  He was in the Northampton Saints Academy for the past two seasons, where he played for the Saints’ Academy U18 XV and the Wanderers XV.  Before joining Saints he played junior rugby for Daventry.  Joe is a student taking a gap year, and will be playing on loan at Cambridge this season.

Ben Kelland:
Kelland, a 20 year old second row, was born in Colchester, and went to school at Framlingham College, when he played for England U16, before joining the Northampton Saints Academy.  He has played league rugby for Colchester, and played for Pau in the U23 league in France last season.  Ben will be working for the Blues Community Department, coaching in schools, and studying for his WSET Level 2 in Wine.  Ben, who appeared in the Blues’ warm-up fixture against Blackheath, will be playing on loan at Cambridge, this season.

James Lennon:
Lennon, a 19 year old scrum half, was born in Enfield and went to Felstead School.  He played junior rugby for Cheshunt before joining the Saracens Academy.  He moved to Ireland last season, where he was part of the Munster Academy.  James has played for Irish Exiles U18, Munster U20 and Ireland U20 (v Munster U20);  he was part of the Ireland U20s 6 Nations training squad, the Ireland 7s training squad, playing for the Ireland 7 against Spain, and appeared for Munster in the B&I Cup against Rotherham.  James, who works in the family demolition business, played in the Blues’ warm-up fixtures against Plymouth and Saracens.

Matt Riddington: 
Riddington, a 19 year old centre, was born in Peterborough, and went to Oakham School.  He played junior rugby for Spalding, before he joined Leicester Tigers Academy, where he played for England U16, Tigers U18, Leicester Tigers “A” team and was selected for the England U18 training squad.  He played for South Leicester last season.  Matt, a keen golfer, who is from a farming background, has started an Open University degree in Business Management and Accounting.  He played in the Blues’ warm-up fixture against Plymouth and will be on loan at Bishop’s Stortford, who were promoted to National 1 this season. 

These players will join Ryan Hutler and Dan Lewis, who joined the Blues Academy Development squad last season, and will continue their development as part of this year’s squad.

Ryan Hutler:
Hutler, a 19 year old winger, played for the Blues Academy for two seasons.  He was born in Hertfordshire, lives in Wisbech, and went to the same school as Ali Price, Wisbech Grammar.  He played junior rugby for West Norfolk, Eastern Counties and Midlands U18s.  He is a keen cricketer; an athlete, holding his school record for the 100m and 200m; and footballer, having played for Cambridge United Academy.  Ryan, a student taking a gap year, played for Bishop’s Stortford in National 2 (South) last season helping them to promotion to National 1.  He scored a hat trick for the Blues in the game against the Army last season, and has appeared in the three Blues’ warm-up fixtures against Plymouth, Saracens and Blackheath this summer.

Dan Lewis:
Lewis, a 21 year old fly half, who is studying at Bedford University, was born in Colchester and went to school at St. Joseph’s College, Ipswich.  He was a member of the Blues Academy in the 2013/14 season, when he played for the England U18 Clubs and Schools XV.  He has played for Oyonnax in the U23 league in France, and played on loan at Cambridge in National 1 last season.  Dan  appeared for the Blues in their friendlies against Northampton Saints and the Army, and made his debut in the Championship in the Blues’ away game at Cornish Pirates at the end of last season.  He has been playing in New Zealand for the Valley club in North Otago since April, and has now been selected for the North Otago representative side to play in the Mitre 10 Heartland Championship before returning to the UK in October.


Denis Ormesher, the Blues Academy Director, said … “They have all worked hard in pre-season training with the Blues 1st XV squad.  Most of them have played in one, or more, of the pre-season warm- up games, and four have also played for their partner clubs in pre-season warm-up games.  We are looking forward to seeing them develop over the next few months.  They now have the chance to challenge for places in the Blues’ squad.”


Next Home Match

Friday 23rd August
1st XV Pre Season
Goldington Road