2016/17 SQUAD GROWS

With two games remaining in this season's Greene King IPA Championship, Bedford Blues have strengthened their squad for the next campaign with one new signing and three re-signings.
 
Running out at Goldington Road next season will be scrum half Tom James, 23, who has joined from Loughborough Students.
 
James, can also play at fullback, has captained Loughborough as well as featuring in the England Students squad which lost out to France by three points last weekend.
 
Speaking about the signing, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: "Scrum half is a vital position in any squad and it is important that we have a really good battle for the number nine shirt. Tom comes with a solid reputation, he has a very level head for a young man and he is also renowned for his kicking which will give us an extra option."
 
Also heading back to Goldington Road next season will be back rower Justin Blanchet, winger Pat Tapley and centre Ollie Dodge
 
Blanchet, 22, has continued to grow and develop as a player since joining the Blues from Exeter in the summer of 2014. Comfortable on either side of the scrum, Blanchet is a hard-hitting flanker with plenty of pace and has proven invaluable at the lineout throughout his Blues tenure.
 
Tapley, 25, has had a massive impact on the Blues squad since joining in 2013. Having previously played for Newmarket, the speedy winger made the move to Cambridge midway through the 2009/10 season before making his way to Bedford. Standing at 6ft 3, Tapley’s lightening speed and impressive breaks make him a key member of the team.
 
Dodge, 28, will be entering his tenth campaign with the Blues having originally joined on loan from Leicester Tigers in 2006. The centre, who can also play on the wing, represented England at both Under 19 and Under 20 levels. Standing at 6ft and weighing in at 15 and a half stone, Dodge continues to be a battering ram of a player, proving a threat in both attack and defence. 
 
Commenting on the re-signings, Rayer said: "It is vitally important for us to continue developing as a team and I'm delighted to have Justin, Pat and Ollie commit for the coming season.
 
"Justin has had a good year, developed well and we are looking forward to seeing more of his abilities. Pat is an exceptional talent with electric pace, who has continued to work hard on his all-round game which is really pleasing. Ollie has been a constant professional since the day he first arrived at Goldington Road and I cannot quite believe that it has been ten years. He has pace, power and an excellent rugby mind which really benefits those around him.
 
"We have two huge games ahead of us in this campaign, but to have four more players secured form next season is a real boost and we hope to confirm a few more players in the coming days."
 
The quartet join new signings Jacob Fields and Will Carrick-Smith for the 2016/17 season along with Sam James, Josh Buggea and Jordan Burns who have all signed new deals, and Myles Dorrian and Nick Fenton-Wells who head into the second year of their contracts.

Next Home Match

Friday 16th November
1st XV Cup
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
7.45pm

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