FLANAGAN RETURNS TO GOLDINGTON ROAD

Bedford Blues are delighted to announce another addition to the squad for the 2018/19 Championship campaign with the return of second row powerhouse Mark Flanagan from Saracens.

Flanagan, 28, had a hugely impressive 2015/16 season at Goldington Road helping the Blues reach the Championship play-offs before being snapped up by the Premiership giants.

The lock soon integrated himself within the squad and made several appearances in his first season at Allianz Park, but with game time hard to come by, he made a loan switch to Munster at the start of the 2017/18 season making six appearances for the province.

Speaking about Flanagan re-signing for the Blues, Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: "Being able to bring Mark back to Goldington Road is a real coup for us. He could have gone to another Premiership or Pro 14 team, but he wants to play rugby in an environment where he can thrive and knows we're a perfect fit. 

"Everyone knows that Mark is an amazingly talented rugby player who offers so much all around the field and will be a real force for us in the second row. He's also really excited to be back at the Blues and the coaches are all looking forward to working with him when pre-season arrives."

The cousin of Irish international Devin Toner, Flanagan began his professional rugby career at Leinster, coming through the club’s academy before making nine senior appearances for the Irish province. After a spell for French Pro D2 side Stade Montois, the second row moved to Bedford before heading to Saracens.

The 6ft7 lock also represented Ireland at U18, U19 and U20 levels, playing in the 2009/10 U20’s World Championship campaign as well as the 2008/09 U20’s Six Nations.

Flanagan added: “I can’t wait to get back to Goldington Road, I loved my time at Bedford Blues and hope I can contribute next season in what I know is a great environment.

“I was really excited when Mike got in touch and the opportunity to return came about. I’ve gained a lot of experience and learnt a lot working with great players at Saracens and can hopefully showcase that back at the Blues.

“It will be good to hook up with old mates and play in front of a brilliant set of supporters again.”

Flanagan’s return takes next seasons squad to 25, alongside fellow signings Lewis Robling, Ed Coulson, Oli Curry, Charlie Clare and Hayden King, plus current Blues; Alex Penny, Jacob Fields, Huw Worthington, Ryan Hutler, Justin Blanchet, Camilo Parilli-Ocampo, Dean Adamson, Rich Lane, Will Carrick-Smith, Harry Sheppard, Josh Buggea, Will Hooley, Ed Taylor, Lee Dickson, Alex Rae, Jarad Williams, Chris Czekaj, Sean McCarthy and Ben Cooper.

Next Home Match

Saturday 29th September
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
3.00pm

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