MATCH PREVIEW V AMPTHILL

Bedford Blues have named their team to take on Ampthill in what has been dubbed the 'Battle of Bedfordshire' on Boxing Day.

With either team having a festive match this season, they decided to come together to give local rugby fans a special Christmas treat with a traditional Boxing Day game at Goldington Road.

Looking ahead to the game, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: "Everyone is very excited about the game against Ampthill and we're really looking forward to a good workout against a very impressive team. Ampthill have been playing some magnificent rugby this season and it will be a great test for us between a long break in Championship fixtures.

"We had a really tough encounter against Richmond at the weekend, but the lads trained really well on Christmas Eve and are raring to put on a good show in front of what will no doubt be a big Boxing Day crowd."

More than 2,500 tickets have already been sold for the Boxing Day clash but you still have until 1pm on Christmas Day to take advantage of the whopping £5 online discount. Just visit bedfordrugby.co.uk and click on 'Buy Tickets' to buy yours now.

The Blues welcome Tom Walker and Tom Hitchcock (Bishop's Stortford & Felstead School) into the starting line-up for the clash after both youngsters trained with Bedford during the summer. There's also guest appearances from prop Brandon Palmer (Blackheath) and former Blues Academy member Charley Robinson (Peterborough Lions). Jake Sharp will make his first start for the Blues since re-joining the club last week while Paul Tupai will be lacing up his boots 'one last time' as he takes a place on the bench.

Starting line-up:
15. Tom Walker
14. Pat Tapley
13. Ed Coulson
12. Tom Hitchcock
11. Joe Green
10. Jake Sharp
9. Al Gliksten

1. Hayden King
2. Jacob Fields
3. Ben Cooper
4. Ed Taylor (c)
5. Will Carrick-Smith
6. Justin Blanchet
7. Alex Rae
8. Huw Worthington

Replacements:
16. Charlie Robinson, 17. Sean McCarthy, 18. Brandon Palmer, 19. Paul Tupai, 20. Joe Britton, 21. James Lennon, 22. Lewis Robling, 23. Dean Adamson

Ampthill have also confirmed their team for the Boxing Day encounter with some familiar faces including James Pritchard, Soane Tonga'uiha, Viliami Hakalo and Billy Johnson all making a return to Goldington Road.

Starting line-up:

15. James Pritchard
14. Spencer Sutherland
13. Viliami Hakalo
12. Sam Hanks
11. Sam Baker
10. Mickey Wilson
9. George De Cohti

1. Soane Tonga’uiha
2. Aleki Lutui
3. Matt Collins
4. Carl Burgess
5. Henri Williams
6. Billy Johnson
7. Joe Bercis
8. Maama Molitika

Replacements:
16. Olly Walliker, 17. Karl Garside, 18. Chris Muncaster, 19. Josh Walker, 20. Will Allman, 21. Gavin Williams, 22. Michael Waters, 23. Will Foster

Next Home Match

Saturday 21st September
1st XV Cup
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
3.00pm

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