FOUR MORE SIGN FOR 14/15
Bedford Blues squad for the 2014/15 Greene King IPA Championship season continues to take shape after Director of Rugby Mike Rayer confirmed the signing of three new players and the recapture of Jake Sharp.
The Blues have strengthened their front row options with the signing of Billy Moss from London Welsh while the second row is bolstered with the capture of Harry Wells from Leicester and Justin Blanchet from Exeter Chiefs adds extra spice to the back row.
Moss joins the Blues from fellow Championship side London Welsh where he has spent the past three seasons since moving from Bath. The 26 year old, who can play on either side of the front row, has played in excess of 50 times for the Exiles and played a pivotal row in helping them achieve promotion to the Premiership in 2012.
Billy, who stands at six foot one inch tall and weighs 118kg, came through the ranks at The Rec while also gaining valuable time with Bristol before moving to Old Deer Park and The Kassam. He has also picked up representative honours for England at Under 18, 19 and 20 levels.
Speaking about the new signing, Rayer said: “Billy is a quality loosehead and will offer us an extra ball carrying option as well as his scrummaging ability.”
Blanchet, 20, who is French-Canadian, joins Bedford from Premiership outfit Exeter Chiefs where he has developed his rugby prowess while studying Economics at Exeter University. Standing at six feet four inches tall and weighing 16 stone, the Montreal native has a reputation for being a hard tackling back rower whose impressive displays for the Chiefs and Exeter University have seen him training with the England Under 20 squad.
Wells joined the Blues at the end of February on loan from Leicester Tigers following an injury to Ben Gulliver. Wells, who was part of the England Junior World Cup winning squad last season and featured during the 109-0 win over the USA, was a promising athlete who excelled at the hammer before turning to rugby and he has thrived at Welford Road and comes with a reputation as a natural ball carrier.
“The opportunity to sign Justin from Exeter was one that didn’t take long to think about,” said Rayer. “He is a very talented youngster who has shown excellent potential and we are really looking forward to seeing him in a Blues shirt next season.
“Harry has come along to Bedford and thoroughly enjoyed the game time that has been available to him. As a result he expressed his desire to stay and we are thrilled to have a player of his pedigree with us for the coming season.”
Another confirmed player for 2014/15 is Jake Sharp who joined from Saracens initially on dual-registration before signing permanently with the Blues. Sharp has been an integral part of the squad that reached the British & Irish Cup in 2011 as well as the Championship final last season.
Talking about Sharp's signature, Rayer added: “Jake has continued to perform at a high level and he has formed a great half back relationship with Darryl Veenendaal and it is a great coup for us to re-sign both players for another year.”
Billy, Justin, Harry and Jake join new signings Dean Adamson and Jim Wigglesworth in the squad for next season along with captain James Pritchard and winger Patrick Tapley who both have another year on their contract. Other members of the current Blues squad who have penned new deals include Joe Vandermolen, Charlie Clare, Darryl Veenendaal, Paul Tupai, Ollie Dodge and Mike Howard.