FIVE MORE SIGN ON AT GOLDINGTON ROAD

Just two days after Bedford Blues named five players who will be running up the slope at Goldington Road next season, the club are delighted to be able to double that list.

Paul Tupai and Tom Williams have both agreed new contracts while Myles Dorrian returns on a two year deal and he will be joined by Irish lock Mark Flanagan and talented young prop Jack Culverhouse.

Much like the boomerang, Australian fly half Dorrian is once again heading back to Goldington Road following stints in the Aviva Premiership with Exeter and most recently London Irish. The Woollongong native can also play in the centre or at fullback and will be enjoying his third stint with the Blues since joining from Coventry in 2009 and then Exeter on loan when the Blues reached the Championship final in 2013.

An Ireland international at U18, U19 and U20 levels, Flanagan - who is also English Qualified - emerged at senior level with Leinster, making a total of nine appearances, before heading to Mont-de-Marson in France where he has developed even further under the tutelage of former Blues star Scott Murray. Standing at an imposing six feet seven inches tall, the cousin of Ireland international Devin Toner has excelled while playing in the Pro D2 and is now ready to show what he can do in the Championship.

Culverhouse, 20, is a man with a very bright future ahead of him. Having been on trial with the Blues last year, the youngster signed for Hertford while regularly training with Bedford throughout the season and also featuring for Saracens in the LV=Cup. After impressing in a Blues shirt during the Mobbs Memorial game earlier this month, the former Oaklands College student has earned his chance to step up from National League Three.

Evergreen Tupai, who will turn 41 in September, joined Bedford Blues in 2008 from Northampton Saints and has remained a permanent fixture at Goldington Road ever since. Before the Saints, Tupai spent his time in New Zealand playing for Bay of Plenty where he made over 100 appearances and lifted the Ranfurly Shield in 2004. The Samoan international has been a role model to many players at the Blues and adds a wealth of experience to the Blues pack.

Williams, 26, arrived last summer from Leicester Lions having previously come through the Blues Academy which he captained to the 2006/7 National Colts Cup. Tom is known for his strength and scrummaging ability which made him a great addition to the squad and duly earned him a new contract.

Speaking about the new signings, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: “It has been an extremely busy few weeks for us both on and off the pitch so we are delighted to be able to retain the likes of Toops and Tom while also attracting some very impressive players. Toops has proven year-in year-out what a true professional he is while Tom has had a great first season with us and shown what a great asset he is to the club.

“Everyone knows what Mylo brings to the table and he is a player that gives absolutely everything every time he pulls on a Blues jersey so when we learned that there was the possibility of signing him we jumped at the chance to bring him back once again.

“Mark Flanagan is a player who Scott Murray raves about and it is something of a coup for us to get him to Goldington Road. From what we’ve seen and heard, his set piece work is outstanding and that is so important to us in launching our attacking game. He’s learned a lot while in France and now has the chance to put that to great effect in the Championship.

“While Jack is a new signing, he is a young man that we know very well and has been training with us throughout the campaign. He has shown myself and forwards coach Martin Hynes just what he is capable of and made it impossible for us not to take him on. He’s an exciting talent who will make a big impact next season.”

Next Home Match

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

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