FIRST PLAYER JOINS ACADEMY DEVELOPMENT SQUAD

Bedford Blues are delighted to announce that fly half Dan Lewis is the first player to join the Blues Academy Development Squad.
 
Lewis joins the Blues this summer from French club Oyonnax.  The 20 year old - an old boy of St. Joseph’s College, Ipswich - was a member of the Blues Academy in the 2013/14 season, when he played for the England Under 18 Clubs and Schools XV against Ireland and France.  He also played with Saracens Academy in the U18 Academy league.  
 
For the past two seasons, Lewis has played for the Oyonnax Espoir XV in the U23 league in France, helping the club to the play-offs of the Espoir Elite 2 league, and promotion to the Elite 1 league for next season. The French Espoir league consists of Under 23 players, with up to five over-age players in each match day squad.
 
Speaking about joining the Blues, Dan said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have signed for Bedford. Being a part of the Blues Academy two years ago was a fantastic experience, and it is the club that I feel I developed most at, as a young aspiring rugby player. When there was an opportunity to move back to Bedford to become part of the Academy Development Squad, it was a no brainer for me.  I can't wait to get involved with the squad and start working towards the coming season.”
 
Denis Ormesher, the Blues Academy Director, added: “We are delighted that Dan is returning to the Blues. He was a fine player when he was with us and has developed well in the tough French Espoir league environment where he has been playing against some of the top French youngsters.  He now has a great opportunity to develop his skillset further by training with the Blues and playing regular rugby for the First XV or one of our partner clubs.”
 
Last month the Blues announced a new approach to developing young players for a future in the professional game last month with the set-up of the Academy Development Squad.  These players will train as part of the Blues first team squad with their Strength & Conditioning programmes being overseen by the Blues first team coaches. If they are not playing for the Blues, then they will play with a partner club in the National Leagues where they will have the opportunity to develop by playing regular adult league rugby.