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Promotion from the Championship to the Premiership will be decided on who finishes top of the league after the RFU Council approved a three-season plan to remove the end-of-season play-off system between the top four teams.

From next season, the club who finishes top of the table will be crowned the winner of the Greene King IPA Championship and will be promoted into Premiership Rugby the following season if they satisfy the Minimum Standards Criteria of the premier club competition.

Bedford Blues have announced a much changed line-up for their trip to Lady Bay on Sunday afternoon as they face Nottingham in the Greene King IPA Championship.

The Blues will be looking to bounce back immediately following their home defeat to Ealing Trailfinders last weekend. The two teams appeared to be evenly matched, but the visitors pulled away in the last ten minutes and Bedford couldn't find a way back into the game.

Bedford Blues have secured the services of experienced prop James Hallam for the remainder of the 2016/17 Greene King IPA Championship season.

After it was confirmed that Jack Culverhouse would require surgery to a hip injury, the Blues moved quickly to sign Hallam ahead of the transfer deadline which passed on Friday 24th February.

Speaking about the signing, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: "James has considerable experience in the Championship and we are delighted to welcome him to Goldington Road for the remainder of the season. 

Not for the first time this season, Bedford’s mistakes cost them dearly as top four hunting Ealing Trailfinders picked up a 16-29 victory at Goldington Road.

It was the fourth meeting between the two sides this season and Ealing continued their good fortune by pouncing on the Blues errors. Bedford scored a couple of cracking tries through Piers O’Conor and Elliot Clements-Hill, but Mark Bright and Mile Mantella scored for the visitors while Aaron Penberthy hit 19 points from his boot.

Bedford Blues return to Goldington Road this weekend as they welcome high flying Ealing Trailfinders in the Greene King IPA Championship.

The  Blues head into the game looking to build on their impressive display against Rotherham Titans last weekend in which Bedford won their first game of 2017 21-36 thanks to tries from Elliot Clements-Hill, Ollie Dodge, Ben Adams, Jordan Burns and Piers O'Conor.

The task ahead is a huge one though, as Ealing maintain their charge for a top four finish and are yet to taste defeat to Bedford in three games this season thanks to two wins and a draw.

The Blues return home this Saturday after a month away against fourth placed Ealing Trailfinders at Goldington Road (KO 3pm).

Mike Rayer’s men will be looking to continue their short-term momentum following a fantastic win over Rotherham Titans last time out, but are expecting a tough battle against the side from the capital who have already toppled the Blues twice this season.

Bedford Blues will sadly no longer be welcoming referee Nigel Owens in our latest Sportsman’s Dinner, but have managed to replace him with the superb James Haskell.

The current England international who has made an impact off the bench in the first two Six Nations matches is the perfect substitute and is renowned for his open, honest and entertaining stories behind the mic.   

The event on Wednesday 5th April will see MC Sam Roberts welcome Haskell to the Goldington Road Marquee for a night of rugby tales and entertainment with a raffle and auction to close following a sumptuous three-course feast.

Bedford Blues well and truly exorcised the demons of a fortnight ago by picking up a bonus point win over Rotherham Titans at Clifton Lane on Saturday afternoon..

Not only was this an impressive victory at a difficult ground, but the Blues went about their business in determined fashion and didn’t allow small mistakes to detract from a dominating team display.

Tries from Elliot Clements-Hill, Ollie Dodge, Ben Adams, Jordan Burns and Piers O’Conor did the damage while Myles Dorrian added 11 points from his boot.

Bedford Blues head up the M1 to Rotherham on Saturday afternoon in search of their first Championship victory of 2017.

A fortnight has passed since Bedford's disappointing outing in South West London when they slumped to a 49-26 against Richmond and the Blues are keen to get back out on the field to right the wrongs.

The two teams met at Goldington Road back in October with Bedford winning the game 17-16. Tries for Dean Adamson and Jacob Fields put a nice shine on the win, but it was the defensive display from the entire squad that ensured that the Blues secured the victory and much of the same will be needed this weekend.

Despite it only being February, Bedford Blues have started the building process for the 2017/18 Championship season by securing the services of two impressive members of the current squad.

Captain Michael Le Bourgeois and prop Ben Cooper have both put pen to paper on new deals which will keep them at Goldington Road next season.

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