MATCH PREVIEW V BISHOP'S STORTFORD

As announced yesterday, Bedford have received a helpful boost for their pre-season encounter against Bishop's Stortford with England fullback Ben Foden being named in the Blues starting line-up.
 
Foden, who is heading off to join Major League Rugby in America, is one of three players drafted into the Blues squad following a number of injuries amongst the rank. Northampton Saints duo Fraser Strachen (centre) and Matt Worley (fullback) have also travelled along the A428 to lend a hand as Harry Sheppard (concussion), Lewis Robling (thigh), Jack Nay (concussion), Ryan Hutler (ankle), Jamie Elliott (hamstring) and Pat Tapley (eye socket) all remain on the casualty list.
 
Speaking ahead of the game, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: "We took some really heavy knocks during the game with Saracens so we are extremely grateful to Saints for lending us a couple of their talented youngsters who will want to put on a good show for their coaches.
 
"It's also great to be able to welcome Ben to Goldington Road once again. He was on top form when he played in the Testimonial game for Paul Tupai and he certainly enjoyed having a run around on the pitch. He has trained with us with a view to staying in shape ahead of his move to New York so it's great that he's offered to help us out while we are a little short on backs. I'm sure fans will be keen to see him in action on English soil once more!
 
"With just a week to go until our first Championship encounter, it's vital that we hit the ground running. We saw some great defensive work early on last weekend and we want that to continue on Friday. I watched Bishop's Stortford a couple of times last season and they play a really attractive brand of rugby. Andy Long has done a great job there and they are very vibrant club from mini and juniors upwards, it should be a great evening of rugby."
 
There are plenty of changes for the Blues going into Friday night. Foden starts in the centre in place of former Saints teammate Jamie Elliot, Scottish Under 20 centre Strachan comes in for Lewis Robling and Joe Green gets the nod on the wing. There's a new front five of Camilo Parilli-Ocampo, Taidgh McElroy, Ben Cooper, Oli Curry and Will Carrick-Smith while Huw Worthington starts at seven.
 
Starting line-up:
 
15. Rich Lane
14. Ed Coulson
13. Ben Foden
12. Fraser Strachan
11. Joe Green
10. Will Hooley
9. Lee Dickson (c)
 
1. Camilo Parilli-Ocampo
2. Taidgh McElroy
3. Ben Cooper
4. Oli Curry
5. Will Carrick-Smith
6. Alex Rae
7. Huw Worthington
8. Jarad Williams
 
Replacements:
 
Jacob Fields, Sean McCarthy, Hayden King, Ed Taylor, Justin Blanchet, Josh Buggea, James Lennon, Chris Czekaj, Dean Adamson, Matt Worley.

*Pics of Fraser Strachacn and Matt Worley courtesy of Red Hat Photography

Next Home Match

Friday 23rd August
1st XV Pre Season
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
7.45pm

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