1st XV News

Bedford Blues return to league action this weekend with their first trip to Hartpury in the Greene King IPA Championship.

Following on from a hard fought win over Ulster A in the quart-final of the British & Irish Cup, attention returns to the Championship as the Blues look to finish the season as strongly as possible.

While the Blues picked up a bonus point 33-7 win when the two teams met at Goldington Road back in November, they know that they can expect a bruising encounter against Hartpury on their home turf.

Bedford Blues are delighted to confirm their first new signings for next season in two forwards who are already very familiar with Goldington Road.

Heading back to Bedford Blues will be Northampton Saints hooker Charlie Clare, who played for the Blues between 2013 and 2016, as well as Blackheath prop Hayden King who represented the Blues Academy.

Speaking about the new signings, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: "It is a pleasure to welcome both Charlie and Hayden back to Goldington Road and into the Blues family once again.

Bedford Blues are delighted to announce that three more members of the current squad have signed new deals to keep them at Goldington Road next season.

Following on from last week's re-signings, the Blues are pleased to confirm that fly-half Harry Sheppard, utility back Rich Lane and second row Will Carrick-Smith have all extended their stays with the club.

Speaking about the news, Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: "It is fantastic to have secured the services of these three talented individuals for another season and I'm really looking forward to continuing working with them.

Bedford Blues are delighted to announce that Nigel Owens, one of the most respected officials in World Rugby, will be returning to the Blues Marquee this summer for a Sportsman’s Dinner.

Nigel last visited the Blues just three days before the 2015 Rugby World Cup final, and so enthralling was his after-dinner speech, that he received a five minute standing ovation from those in attendance.

Renowned for his quick retorts to defuse even the ugliest of scenes on the field - "If you want a cwtch, do it after the match” - Owens has established himself as one of the best and most respected referees in the world.

Bedford Blues secured a semi-final spot in the British & Irish Cup following a monumental encounter against Ulster A at Goldington Road.

While a try from Rich Lane and 11 points from Will Hooley’s boot did the business on the scoreboard, it was the dogged Blues defence which ultimately won the game as Ulster threw everything including the kitchen sink at Bedford in the dying minutes of the game.

Bedford Blues have been forced into a late change to their 22 man squad for today's British & Irish Cup after Lee Dickson was ruled out of taking a place on the bench. Elliot Clements-Hill come in to replace the player/coach.

*** Updated team news ***

Bedford Blues have named their 22 man squad to face Ulster A in the Quarter-Final of the British & Irish Cup at Goldington Road on Saturday afternoon.

Bedford and Ulster have face off four time already since the B&I Cup came into existence with each game being massively entertaining and much of the same is expected when the match kicks off at 3pm.

Bedford Blues are delighted to announce that three members of the current squad have put pen to paper on new deals that will keep them at Goldington Road next season.

Josh Buggea, Will Hooley and Ed Taylor have all joined skipper Michael Le Bourgeois in agreeing new deals to keep them at the club for another year.

Speaking about the re-signings, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: "We've been pleased with the progress made by the club this season and it's important that we maintain a core of the current squad for the next campaign.

It’s Cup Quarter Final week at Goldington Road as Blues head straight back into home action this Saturday against Ulster A in the British & Irish Cup knockout fixture (KO 3pm).

Following Saturday’s thrilling victory over Doncaster Knights, the Bedford boys return in confident spirits ahead of the Easter weekend match where they meet the sizeable challenge of the Northern Irish province.

The Belfast based side will travel hunting revenge over the Blues after Bedford did the Cup double over the Ulstermen two years ago to win both Pool stage encounters and secure a home Quarter Final against Jersey in 2016.

Bedford Blues went through a hugely attritional 80 minutes on Saturday afternoon, but they dug in deep to pick up a 41-32 bonus point win over Doncaster Knights.

A brace of tries for Rich Lane and one apiece for Tom Lindsay and Lee Dickson set the Blues on their way while Will Hooley kicked 18 points and Harry Sheppard slotted a late penalty to deny the visitors a second bonus point.

Games between the Blues and Knights are always tight affairs and it was clear that this would be the case from the opening whistle.

Bedford Blues will run out for the first time in three weeks when they welcome Doncaster Knights to Goldington Road on Saturday afternoon.
 
The Blues were denied a fixture last weekend when the so-called 'Beast from the East part two' descended on Nottingham leaving the pitch unplayable. The postponement meant that Bedford had not been in action since Saturday 3rd March when they defeated Yorkshire Carnegie 41-22.
 

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