CLARE AND KING RETURN

Bedford Blues are delighted to confirm their first new signings for next season in two forwards who are already very familiar with Goldington Road.

Heading back to Bedford Blues will be Northampton Saints hooker Charlie Clare, who played for the Blues between 2013 and 2016, as well as Blackheath prop Hayden King who represented the Blues Academy.

Speaking about the new signings, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: "It is a pleasure to welcome both Charlie and Hayden back to Goldington Road and into the Blues family once again.

"Charlie was a regular for us during his first stint with the club but has developed a lot over the past two years with Northampton and it will be great to have him back in the squad as a much improved player.

"Hayden was a key component of the Blues Academy during his time here and went on to help Old Albanians to promotion before earning a move to Blackheath at the start of this season scoring a try against us in the August friendly. James Shanahan has spoken very highly of his attributes and we're all looking forward to seeing him in a Blues jersey next season."

Clare, 26, heads back to Goldington Road following two years at Franklin's Gardens in which he helped the Wanderers lift the Aviva 'A' League trophy, starting in the final where the side defeated Gloucester United for the title. During his time at Bedford, Clare impressed during his appearances for the club as they reached the Championship’s top four at the end of 2016 scoring against Bristol in the first leg. It was whilst playing for the Blues that Clare was selected in Martin Haag’s Championship XV that beat Canada in November 2014. Prior to his three years at Bedford, Clare was a member of the Leicester Tigers academy where he had loan spells with Nottingham, Jersey and Loughborough Students.

Talking about his return to Bedford, Charlie said: "I have learnt a lot during my two seasons at Saints. My experience training and playing alongside top players and coaches is one I shall remember fondly and value highly. I would like to thank the supporters, players and staff for everything they have done over the past two seasons.

"However, I am delighted to be returning to Bedford and feel very privileged to have been asked back. Bedford is a proper rugby club. The supporters, the current players and coaches are who I want to be with next season. I’m looking forward to getting amongst it."

Joining Clare in the front row will be Hayden King who prior to playing for Blackheath, was a member of the Old Albanians squad as well as featuring for England Counties. The 22 year old who stands at 178cm and tips the scales at 116kg, has been in sparkling form in National One this season helping Blackheath to fifth in the table and was instrumental in inflicting the only defeat on runaway leaders Coventry.

Speaking about signing for Bedford, Hayden said: "I'm really looking forward to getting back to Goldington Road. I've had a great few years at Old Albanians and Blackheath where I feel my game has continued to improve under James Shanahan and the other coaches I've worked with.

"I had some offers at the start of the year from other Championship clubs, but Bedford was the only place that I wanted to go. They play a great brand of rugby which is fast-flowing and a pleasure to watch and I can't wait to be involved."  

Charlie and Hayden will join Rich Lane, Will Carrick-Smith, Harry Sheppard, Josh Buggea, Will Hooley, Ed Taylor and Michael Le Bourgeois, Lee Dickson, Alex Rae, Jarad Williams, Chris Czekaj, Sean McCarthy and Ben Cooper who are all contracted for the 2018/19 season.

Photo of Hayden King courtesy of Felix Ursell

Next Home Match

Saturday 1st December
1st XV Cup
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
3.00pm

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