After three losses in the Greene King IPA Championship Bedford Blues are looking to kick start their season at the Memorial Stadium on Sunday afternoon when they face high-flying Bristol.

Having put in a much improved performance against Leeds Carnegie last weekend at Goldington Road, the Blues will be hoping to go one step further at the ‘Mem’.

Prop Nico Steenkamp misses out this weekend with a rib injury.  

Although the Blues welcome back Darren Fearn, Director of Rugby Mike Rayer has drafted in former Gloucester and Jersey loosehead Richard Barrington on an emergency loan from Saracens.

Centre Sam Stanley has also recovered from a knock and will make his first competitive start for the Blues replacing Brendan Burke at outside centre.

Looking ahead to Sunday, Rayer said: “We’ve not had the greatest of starts to the season but last week went a long way to prove that the lads have plenty of fight in them and I am expecting another improved performance this weekend. “We’ve made some changes throughout the side and we are very thankful to Saracens for allowing Richard Barrington to join us at short notice. The likes of Ollie Dodge and Joe Vandermolen have shouldered a huge physical workload already and need to be managed carefully. Centre and back row thankfully are areas where we have a touch of depth so the boys coming in will be fresh and ready to go.

Starting line-up:

15. James Pritchard (c)

14. Corey Hircock

13. Sam Stanley

12. Mark Atkinson

11. Neville Edwards

10. Jake Sharp

9. Darryl Veenendaal


1. Richard Barrington

2. Scott Spurling

3. Phil Boulton

4. Mike Howard

5. Paul Tupai

6. Tom Armes

7. Darren Fox

8. Don Barrell


Replacements: 16. Charlie Clare, 17. Ben Cooper, 18. Darren Fearn 19. Ben Gulliver 19. Ben Gulliver, 20. Joe Vandermolen, 21. Luke Baldwin, 22. Michael Le Bourgeois.

Next Home Match

Friday 23rd August
1st XV Pre Season
Goldington Road