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Bedford have received a helpful boost for their pre-season encounter against Bishop's Stortford on Friday night with the news that England fullback Ben Foden will be starting the game for the Blues.

Foden, who is heading off to join Major League Rugby in America, has stepped in to lend a hand as the Blues will be without Harry Sheppard (concussion), Lewis Robling (thigh), Jack Nay (concussion), Ryan Hutler (ankle) and Pat Tapley (eye socket).

Blues skipper Lee Dickson was at Twickenham Stadium on Tuesday 21st August for the tenth Greene King IPA Championship launched ahead of the start of the 2018/19 season.

Speaking at the event, Dickson said: "The divide between the Championship and the Premiership is a lot closer than a lot of people think and every week is a tough game as shown last season. We finished third last year but one loss could have meant finishing fifth, sixth or seventh so we know how difficult the league is and we need to make sure that when we go out on the pitch we get everything spot on.

This Bank Holiday Sunday 26th August sees Goldington Road host Queens Rugby Club against a Bedfordshire County Invitational XV to mark the start of Queens Centenary celebrations (Kick Off 3pm).

There is a strong Blues theme throughout both sides with former player Mouritz Botha invitationally coaching the Queens side as well as Club Captain and former Blues and Moseley centre Simon Brading now leading the side out in the back row.  

The County select XV contains players from various Bedfordshire clubs; including Bedford Athletic, Bedford Swifts, Stockwood Park and Biggleswade as well as a selection of former Blues players.

BT Sport is giving Bedford Blues fans the chance to feature in an upcoming broadcast of their live programme, Rugby Tonight on Wednesday 31st October 2018.

Bedford Rugby Followers Association have been approached by the producers for up to 100 Blues’ supporters to be in the audience for the programme after last season’s successful debut appearance. Fans are simply asked to proudly wear their Bedford colours.

Supporters will be required to be at the Olympic Park studio in Stratford, East London, for 7pm for rehearsals. The show is broadcast live from 8pm to 10pm.

Bedford Blues were saddened to hear that Maurice Webb, the club's oldest Honorary Life Member, passed away last week after a short illness, at the age of 93.

Maurice served the club as a committee member for many years. He and his wife Hazel will be especially remembered for their service to the club's social committee and for tirelessly organising regular discos and social evenings every Saturday in the Scrum Hall to raise funds for the club.

The scoreboard may have read 15-57, but there were plenty of positives for Bedford Blues to take from this pre-season encounter against Premiership champions Saracens.

It ended nine tries to three in favour of the visitors, but the Blues coaches will have been pleased with the never-give-in attitude displayed by the entire squad as well as some monumental defensive work coupled with sublime attacking play.

Speaking at the final whistle, new recruit Ed Coulson said: “I thought we went pretty well in the first half and were right in it. We had to come out of the blocks in terms of physicality particularly as it was their first hit out.

Bedford Blues return to action at Goldington Road for the first time in 16 weeks as they welcome Premiership champions Saracens in a pre-season friendly.

In what is sure to be an enthralling encounter against one of the best sides in the northern hemisphere, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer has a near fully fit squad to choose from, while newly appointed captain Lee Dickson will lead out the side.

Bedford Blues scrum-half Lee Dickson has spoken of his pride after being named club captain for the 2018/19 Greene King IPA Championship season.

Former England number nine Dickson, 33, joined the Goldington Road club from Northampton Saints at the start of last season and featured in 26 games scoring five tries along the way in his debut campaign.

With Michael Le Bourgeois moving on to Premiership side Wasps, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer has installed the captaincy on Dickson who already takes on coaching responsibilities at the Blues.

The first home week of the new season is finally here as Bedford Blues host English Premiership Champions Saracens this Saturday (KO 3pm) in a pre-season double header.

After last Friday’s opening day defeat away at Plymouth, Mike Rayer’s men are determined to put in a strong performance in front of the Goldington Road faithful against one of Europe’s best.

The stiff challenge presented by Mark McCall’s troops will not be undermined in Saracens first hit out of the season as both new squads look to gel ahead of respective Championship and Premiership campaigns.

Bedford Blues kicked off their pre-season with a full bloodied encounter against old foes Plymouth Albion which saw the Devon club come out 21-19 winners in a feisty affair at Brickfields on Friday night.

While any loss is disappointing, there were lots of positives for Mike Rayer's men to take from the encounter along with plenty to work on as the Blues prepare to face Saracens at Goldington Road next Saturday.

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Saturday 29th September
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
3.00pm

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