Academy News

Bedford Blues have announced a new approach to develop young players for a future in the professional game.

The Blues Academy is recognised as one of the best non-RFU funded Academies in the country.  Players such as Sacha Harding, Will Chudley, Ali Price, Duncan Taylor, Josh Bassett, Aaron Morris and others have been developed by the Academy before moving into the first team.  Many of these players have gone on to play in the Premiership and beyond.

London Scottish were deserved winners of the Bedford Blues U19 10-a-side Tournament, beating a strong Loughborough University side by 21pts – 7 in an entertaining final at Goldington Road.

The competition was designed to showcase the player development work being carried out by a number of Championship clubs as well as giving the players a competitive focus to end the season.  With six sides participating in two pools of three, there was non-stop rugby all day.

After their final training session on Saturday lunchtime the Blues Academy have finalised and announced their squad for the Bedford U19 10-a-side competition at Goldington Road on Sunday, April 24th.

There are some exciting line-ups in prospect.  The Blues first game is at 1.30 when they play Moseley.  The two exiles teams, London Scottish and London Welsh, face each other at 2pm, and Bedford Blues take on Loughborough University at 2.30pm.  Play commences at 12 noon with the first game between London Welsh and Ealing.  

 

The Blues Academy ended their 15-a-side season with a convincing win away at Doncaster.

Despite the long coach journey the Blues played some fine rugby in the first 15 minutes.  A strong lineout drive gained ground for a second lineout 5m from the Doncaster line.  Bedford varied their game and the ball was moved wide for centre Adrian Sanday to make ground and offload to winger Ross Taylor in support for a fine try;  fullback Liam Shields converted. 

The Blues Academy U19s travel up the A1, ahead of the Blues 1st XV, to take on Doncaster Academy as a curtain raiser to the Doncaster vs Blues Championship league game.  In the pack Ollie Pescott-Frost and Leon Patel-Champion start at prop, with Chayse Tyler at hooker;  Ethan Hughes starts at second row, with Jacob Turner moving to the flank, and Jack Spurr moving to No. 8.  In the back line Callum Tormey stats at fly half; Adrian Sanday (St. Joseph’s College, Ipswich) makes his debut at centre, and Tom Fawsett returns from England U18 duty on the wing.

Ex-Blues Academy centre, Jonathan Raven, is in training to swim the channel for Cancer Charities.

Jonathan’s wife Sarah Raven, 29, has been diagnosed with Gastro-Intestinal Neuroectodermal Tumour (GNET) and is one of only 60 known cases in the world.  To raise money and awareness of the condition Jonathan, and five of their friends, are preparing to swim about 5.5km each of the 32km from Dover to France.  Former Bedford High School pupil Sarah (nee Fisher), was first diagnosed with cancer when she was just 25.  She is undergoing chemotherapy as doctors pool what little information there is about GNET from around the world.

 

Final preparations for the second Bedford Blues Under 19s 10-a-Side Tournament, which will be held on Sunday April 24th at Goldington Road, are near completion, with the Bedford Blues Academy squad having their final training run on Saturday, before announcing their squad.

There are some exciting line-ups in prospect.  The Blues first game is at 1.30 when they play Moseley.  The two exiles teams, London Scottish and London Welsh, face each other at 2pm, and Bedford Blues take on Loughborough University at 2.30pm.  Play commences at 12 noon with the first game between London Welsh and Ealing.  

After being down by 14pts – 7 at half time, the Blues Academy had a strong second half to draw 19pts all with the Nottingham Academy on Sunday.

Nottingham started well and were first to score with a try from their strong running winger to go 7 pts ahead after 15 minutes.  Bedford hit back 10 minutes later when centre Paul Aguele scored from an interception.  Full back Liam Shields converted to make the scores 7 pts all.  Notts hit back when a loose pass from the Blues when counterattacking gave Notts the ball, and a dog-leg in defence allowed them to cut through and score under the posts.  The try was converted to give them a 14pts - 7 lead at half time.

The Blues Academy U19s travel to take on the Nottingham Academy side on Sunday April 3rd, Kick Off 2.00pm.

The Blues make three changes to the starting line-up that played Ealing Trailfinders in their last game.  In the pack Cameron Lawes starts at second row and Jack Spurr (BMS School) at flanker.  In the back line Paddy McDuell, the ex-Bedford School fly half, who is home from University, starts at ten and Ben Phillips returns from injury to start at inside centre. 

The draw for the 2016 Bedford Blues Under 19s 10-a-side competition was made nearly a fortnight ago before the Blues’ first team fixture against Ealing Trailfinders.
 
The draw was made by Geoff Irvine, Chairman of Bedford Blues and the Greene King IPA Championship Clubs Committee, and Ian Baggott, President of the East Midlands Referees Society, for only the second tournament of its kind.  Following last year’s successful tournament, Bedford Blues host the event again on Sunday 24 April at Goldington Road.
 

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