Denis Ormesher
Academy Director



Denis was born in Liverpool and educated at St. Edward’s College and Sheffield University. He played for Sheffield University and Liverpool.

Denis, who started coaching in the Junior Blues, was Academy Manager for 8 years, before leaving the Blues to become Director of Rugby at Luton in 2008. Denis returned to the Blues in 2010 as Academy Director. He has worked with the East Midlands Under 18 squads and coached the East Midlands Under 20s. Denis is a RFU Level 4 Coach and RFU Coach Educator/Tutor.

Denis retired recently from a Global Business Development and Operations role for a Pharmaceutical Contract Organisation. He is married with a daughter and two sons.

Date Joined Bedford:    2000
Sporting Hero:               Muhammed Ali, Steve Redgrave
3 Dinner Companions:  Antonio Carlucci, Stephen Fry, Paul Merton

David Wheatley
Team Manager

David was born in Cumbria and educated at St Joseph's School and then went on to study at Workington College/Lakes College.  He starts a BA (Hons) course in Youth Work at the Open University this year.

David has been involved with Saracens since 2008 and is currently part of their successful Community Department.  David was also part of the Saracens/Active Luton, Field of Dreams/Youth At Risk Project in which he was a mentor and rugby coach.

His rugby background includes Rugby League, with Workington Town Academy and Scotland, and Rugby Union with Workington, Newcastle Falcons Development, Cumbria (from U16s to U21s) and England U18 Schools XV.

David lives in Luton with his partner and their two children.

Date Joined Bedford:   2014
Sporting Heroes           Steven Gerrard, Joe Calzaghe, Jamie Peacock.
3 Dinner Companions  Jamie Oliver, Keith Lemon, Ellie Goulding

Neil Harris
Head Coach



Neil was born in Norwich and educated at Wymondham High School and De Montfort University, Bedford.  He joined the Blues Academy in 2000, when he came to University in Bedford, and played at prop for the Blues U19s, U21s, 2nd XV and 1st XV.  Since then he has played for Wymondham, Norwich and Luton.
Neil is an RFU Level 3 coach, and a SAQ instructor, who has coached the Hertfordshire U14, and U15 squads and was Head Coach at Luton before before joining the Blues coaching team in 2012.  He starts the RFU Level 3 course in mid-2014.

Neil is a teacher, and is Head of Rugby and Head of Boys Games at St George's School, Harpenden.

Date joined Bedford:   2000
Sporting Hero:             Steven Redgrave
3 dinner companions: Jessica Ennis, Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington

Rich Candlin



Rich was born in Birmingham and educated at Great Barr School, Birmingham.  He studied Sport and Environmental studies at De Montfort University, Bedford, and completed his Teacher Training at Hertfordshire University.  He played 2nd row for Coventry before joining Bedford Blues in 1997.  He played for the Blues U21 XV and Development XV making his Blues 1st XV debut in 1999.  Rich spent a year playing in Ireland for De La Salle Palmerston in Dublin, before joining Cambridge in 2002.  He retired from playing in 2008.

Rich is an RFU Level 3 coach who has coached the Hertfordshire U15 squad and was Director of Coaching at Letchworth until 2011.

Rich is married with two young sons and is a PE teacher and Associate Principal at Samuel Whitbread Community College in Shefford.

Date Joined Bedford:   1997
Sporting Hero:              Michael Jordan
3 Dinner Companions: Jenifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, Hugh Lawrie

Kieron Davies: Coach



Kieron was born in 1980 and educated at Purbeck Upper School in Dorset, and De Montfort University Bedford.

He has played rugby in France for RC Compiegne in Federal 2 and RC Arras in Federal 1, and in the UK for Bedford Blues 2nd XV (2005), Hertford, Luton and Ampthill, and is currently playing and coaching at Letchworth.  He has 34 caps for Germany, and is a FFR Level 2 coach.

Kieron is married, with a daughter Maisy and son Oliver.  He lives in Stotfold, and teaches PE at Challney High School for boys in Luton.

Date Joined Bedford:     2005
Sporting Hero:              Fabien Galthié
3 Dinner Companions:   Socrates, Cameron Diaz, Micky Flanagan

Lee Irvine: Coach



Lee was born in Neath, South Wales, and was educated at University of Wales Trinity Saint David where he gained a BA (Hons) in Sport, Health & Exercise, before completing his teacher training at University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC). He played centre for Neath Schools, Swansea Academy (U16s) and Bath Academy (U17s - U19s) and captained the Welsh schoolboys U16s.  He played senior rugby for London Cornish and Barnes before retiring from playing in 2015.

Lee is an WFU Level 2 coach, who has coached the Neath schoolboy U15s, Welsh Exiles U16s, Welsh Schools U16s and U18s, the Ospreys’ Academy and the Independent School Lambs XV. Lee is a teacher, and takes up his new role of Director of Rugby at Wellingborough School, and Head of Sport at Wellingborough Preparatory school, in September.

Date Joined Bedford:       2015
Sporting Hero:                Scott Gibbs
3 dinner companions:      Jessica Ennis, James Corden, Muhammad Ali

Phil Powell.  Coach. 



Phil was born in Portsmouth in 1987, before moving to Milton Keynes as a 10 year old.  His early sporting interests were diving and swimming before he started playing rugby.  He was educated at Moulton College, Northampton. 

Phil works for the Northampton Saints Community team coaching at Moulton College and is Lead Coach at the Tresham College Rugby Academy.  He is a Level 3 swimming coach, and RFU Level 3 coach.

He has been Head Coach for Milton Keynes Rugby Club, backs coach for East Midlands U17s, and Developing Player Pathway (DPP) coach for Wasps and for Northampton Saints.

Phil lives in Milton Keynes with his wife and Daughter.

Date Joined Bedford:     2015
Sporting Idol:                 Jonny Wilkinson
3 Dinner Companions:   Paddy McGuinness, Brian O'Driscoll, Keith Lemon

Matt Williams
Strength & Conditioning Coach





Matt was born in Wellingborough and educated at Weavers School before graduating with an Honours degree in Applied Sports Science from the University of Bedfordshire in 2008.  He completed his Post Graduate Certificate of Education in 2011 and has recently completed an MSc in Sports Performance.
Matt began as a swimmer at County level, competing in various National competitions, and played football as a centre back.  He played rugby at Wellingborough RFC from Under 14 - Under 19 as a centre and second row; for the East Midlands Under 16 and Under 17s squads, and for the University of Bedfordshire.

Matt lectures in Physiology, Biomechanics and Research Methods, at Barnfield College (in association with the University of Bedfordshire) and has also worked as a personal trainer.

Matt works as Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Under-19 squad working on their physical development and testing of fitness.

Date joined Bedford:     2012
Sporting hero:               Mark Foster, Jonah Lomu
3 Dinner Companions:  Jonah Lomu, Albert Einstein, Scarlett Johansson

Alex Daalhuizen
Sport and Exercise Rehabilitator

Alex was born in Surrey and moved to Bedford at the age of 10. He was educated at Sharnbrook School before graduating with an honours degree in Sport and Exercise Rehabilitation in 2014 from Middlesex University.  He starts an M.Sc. in Strength and Conditioning in September 2014.

Alex is a keen surfer, he swam at County level and played hockey at University.

Alex has worked as a Strength & Conditioning Coach in tennis and swimming and is currently working in Sport Rehabilitation at Queens Park Rangers Football Club.

Alex worked with the Blues 1st XV squad in 2013 on a work experience placement and this season will support the Blues Academy squad.

Date Joined Bedford:   2014
Sporting Hero:              Kelly Slater
3 Dinner Companions: Dave Grohl, Ian Thorpe, Muhammad Ali

Jo Livesey
Sport and Exercise Rehabilitator

Jo was born in Olney and educated at Ousedale School, Olney, and Moulton College, Northampton, where she obtained a Sports Fitness Coaching and Development Diploma, before graduating with an honours degree in Sports Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention in 2014 from St. Mary’s University, Twickenham.

Jo is a keen runner and gym user.

Jo has worked as a Strength & Conditioning Coach in gyms, and with Northampton Demons Rugby League club, and is currently Strength & Conditioning Coach, and Sports Rehabilitator, for Olney Ladies Rugby.  She works as a Respiratory Rehabilitation Technician at Bedford Hospital, where she treats patients with chronic respiratory problems.

Jo worked with the Blues 1st XV squad, the London Welsh squad, and the Tongan Rugby League team during the Rugby League World Cup in 2013, as part her University work experience placements.

Date Joined Bedford:      2015
Sporting Hero:                Jessica Ennis
3 Dinner Companions:    Lord Alan Sugar, Rebel Wilson, Channing Tatum

Jack Hunt

Jack was born in Northampton and educated at Unity College, and Moulton College, Northampton, where he obtained VTCT Diplomas in the Prevention and Management of Sports Injuries, and Sports Massage and a Diploma in Sport Development, Coaching and Fitness.

Jack is a keen surfer, usually in N.Cornwall, and loves National Hunt horse racing. 

Jack is an RFU Level 1 Coach and coaches the U14 squad at Northampton Old Scouts.  He plays for Northampton Old Scouts and played for the England Deaf Rugby XV in 2014.  Jack worked as a masseuse with the Blues 1st XV in 2013/14 and this season will support the Blues Academy squad.

Date Joined Bedford:     2013
Sporting Hero:                Don White
3 Dinner Companions:   Sir Alex Ferguson, Tom Cruise, Eric Cantona



Next Home Match

Saturday 5th December
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road