HEAD TO HEAD WITH BEN ADAMS AND OLLIE DODGE

If you've never seen the 'head to head' feature in a match day programme (and why wouldn't you?), here's a little taster of what you've been missing as Ben Adams and Ollie Dodge took on an array of questions. 

This feature is available in every home match programme, buy yours on the gate this Friday for just £2.50.

Bedford Blues headed to France and Belgium last week to commemorate Remembrance Day. How was the experience? What were the highlights?

OD: Ever since I’ve been at Bedford the Mobbs Memorial game has been a really big deal so it was nice to make the trip and see his name on the arch. Visiting all of the sites was really interesting and not something that you often get the chance to do and being able to pay our respects, particularly at this time of year, was great.
 
BA: Seeing places like Ypres and Tyne Cot was a really humbling experience and it clearly had an impact on the boys as they all smartened themselves up to pay their respects. It was also a really cool honour to lay the wreath and form a tunnel for everyone to walk through as part of the ceremony.
 
OD: It was also nice to spend some time as a team and enjoy a few beverages afterwards.
 
BA: There was a little bit of team-bonding going on afterwards with plenty of double-denim and some questionable outfits from some. A few of the lads were far too comfortable in short shorts!
 
OD: I’m sure that someone may have even been seen in their Budgie Smugglers at one point.
 
BA:  I may have…
 
Who are the best three players you've played alongside and what made them so good?
 
OD: That’s a tough one. I’m very lucky to have played alongside Dan Cole and Ton Youngs at Leicester and here at Bedford, but that was when Tom was still a back. I always thought that Tom was a really good centre and given the opportunity he could have really been a force. That said, he was advised that if he made the move to hooker then he’d end up playing for England and that was obviously what happened and turned out to be true. As for Dan, well he’s one of the best in the world at what he does.
 
BA: What about your third?
 
OD: Billy Twelvetrees. It was really nice to be with him when he started his journey. I lived with Billy along with Gregor Gillanders and we’d all been given the nudge from Leicester so we all had something in common. To see Billy get the boost he did from playing for Bedford, building his confidence and doing pretty well out of it was great. Billy was studying to be a chiropractor as he genuinely believed that he didn’t have a future at the top level. He was only young at the time and thought he’d have a few seasons at Goldington Road, but it’d be useful to get a trade for some extra money. Of course, his performances here were noted, he returned to the Premiership, played for England and toured with the Lions. Not bad!
 
BA: The first that immediately springs to mind is Adam Wallace-Harrison who was a second rower who I played club rugby with after he came down from the Reds. Unbelievable knowledge of the game. He was nearing the end of his career at the time and what he did physically was impressive, but his knowledge of the game was out of this world. Another guy I played Sevens with was Lewis Holland who is now the captain of Australia Sevens. He’s a bloke who can run on empty until he has to crawl off the pitch and yet can hold his own, bang a few blokes in defence and still sprint the length of the pitch in under 11 seconds. The third one is tough.
 
OD: I know, you struggle thinking about all the great boys you’ve played with.
 
BA: I’m going to have a joint third. First is Liam Gill. He’s not had the coverage that he deserves because of Michael Hooper being Australia’s best seven, but Gilly is an old school seven with his jackalling and that. He can twist and morph his body in weird positions and still come out with the ball. Joining him is Ben Gollings who I got to come off the bench with in Oz. I was lucky enough to get 20 minutes as a young colt and seeing the flash and flair he had was unreal. He’d chip and chase from our 22, throw flick passes and others through his legs. It was amazing to watch.
 
Which three rugby related things would you condemn to Room 101 and why?
 
OD: Given the weather outside, I’d say training in the wet. It’s horrendous. You can’t catch the ball.
 
BA: You can’t pass the ball.
 
OD: It’s freezing cold and just miserable.
 
BA: Next – mauls inside the 22.
 
OD: I’m glad you said that.
 
BA: It is making rugby boring. As people saw when we played Yorkshire Carnegie they scored a few maul tries while we ran in some outstanding tries and I know which I’d prefer to pay to watch. Let’s put it another way. I’d hate to be a back at Jersey!
 
OD: Finally. Scrums. Particularly the pushing. I’ve been watching the Rugby League World Cup recently and the quick feed to the eight is great.
 
BA: They’re off and playing straight away.

OD: I just think it is so tough for the refs to ref the scrum that we shouldn’t bother.
 
BA: We’ve just shot down the set-piece with only the kick-off left.

OD: We could just go all League and get rid of flankers.
 
BA: But then I’d be out of a job.
 
OD: Nah, you’d make a great centre.
 
Former Blue Neil Cochrane has been called up to the Scotland squad at the tender age of 33. Which former team mates do you think deserve international honours and which of the current crop could make it?
 
BA: Brendan Burke should have earned his spot in the Ireland team… or at least the drinking team.
 
OD: Most of the Saracens lads who have been with us have deservedly gone on to earn international honours, but one lad who should be up there as well is Josh Bassett. He’s playing superbly for Wasps at the moment and has to be knocking on the door. The other thing is that Josh hasn’t forgotten his roots. He comes back to see the boys and the management and took the time to come to the end of season dinner as well. Top boy.
 
BA: Out of the boys here now, I think the space cadet Howard Packman has abilities that you just can’t teach. He’s tough to tackle, keeps his feet and knows how to get to the line. The same can be said for Dean Adamson. Scoring tries is the aim of the game and those boys can do it!
 
OD: I think Jarad Williams has had a great season so far. He’s a big old boy and could go on to play for England or Wales.
 
What is your biggest vice and how often do you give into temptation?
 
BA: Beer with the lads.
 
OD: Don’t you get stick for not going out?
 
BA: Recently I’ve been able to withstand the barrage but I’ve been known to have a rubbery arm. Oh no! Booj is going to read this and rip into me.
 
OD: Mine are crisps. I give in every other day. I’m terrible.
 
BA: Me too. I’m a sucker for Monster Munch
 
OD: I love them!
 
What songs get you most psyched up for a game of rugby? Who has the worst taste in music at Goldington Road?
 
BA: It’s a bit stereotypical, but Thunderstruck by AC/DC. Josh Buggea did one hell of a rendition out in Belgium. I do like the Red Hot Chili Peppers track we run out to as well.

OD: It used to be Thunderstruck a few years ago.
 
BA: Let’s bring that back! Worst taste in music has to go to George Edgson. He insists on being the DJ in the gym but it’s terrible. UK top 20!
 
OD: I don’t have a pre-match song as I’m boring like that, but there’s some bad stuff around though. Dean Adamson likes Drake, but it sounds like a car alarm going off to me. I just don’t get it.

You can get involved with 'head to head' by sending in your questions to simon@bedfordrugby.co.uk or by tweeting them to @BedfordBluesRFC

Next Home Match

Saturday 16th December
1st XV B&I Cup
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
3.00pm

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