Good things come in threes and it is the case once again for Bedford Blues as they confirm a trio of names for next season’s squad.

Fly half Sam Leeming will be swapping the red of Hartpury for the Blue of Bedford following four years at the Gillman’s Ground while backs Ed Coulson and Pat Tapley have both put pen to paper on new deals to remain at Goldington Road.

Speaking about the captures, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: “We are really excited about the shape of the squad so far. Being able to welcome Sam as well as having Pat and Ed signed up is wonderful news.

“Sam joins from Hartpury where he has been in superb form. His performance against us just a few weeks ago was exceptional and I’m delighted that he’ll be playing with us rather than against us next season. He’s a talented young man who has an excellent all round game and I’m really looking forward to him battling it out for the number ten jersey.

“Ed has been a superb addition to the squad since joining last year and his versatility throughout the season has been exceptional given that he’s played every position in the backs except scrum half. What’s more pleasing is that he has engulfed himself in the Blues culture and has continued to develop and grow as a player.

“Pat’s contribution this season has been just what we’ve needed. Not only has he run in tries, but he’s provided guidance for some of the youngsters, particularly Ryan Hutler, who have really learnt a lot from him. His time away in Australia really did him the world of good and he strives to be an even better player.”

Leeming has been in inspirational form for Hartpury this campaign having featured predominantly at ten but also able to fill in at 12. After helping Hartpury's University team secure the BUCS double in 2016/17, was heavily involved in the first team following Hartpury’s promotion and has continued his great form. An excellent kicking and defensive game is balanced perfectly with a superb attacking flair which will definitely endear itself to the Goldington Road faithful.

Bedford Blues moved quickly in the Summer of 2018 to sign utility back Ed Coulson from fellow Championship side Hartpury who he had joined at the start of this campaign. Primarily a fullback, Coulson can also play on the wing, in the centre or at fly half and offers plenty of options to the Blues back line as shown throughout this campaign having played 19 times and scoring three tries, eight conversions and seven penalties in the process.

Having been part of the London Irish set-up as a youngster, Coulson joined the Bath Academy when he attended Sherborne School in Dorset, and played in the A League and Premiership Sevens as well as spending time in South Africa with Western Province. With some star names ahead of him at Bath, a move to Newcastle followed but Coulson suffered a series of hamstring injuries which never allowed him to establish himself with the Falcons. Coulson undertook a lengthy rehabilitation process which included a spell in Australia with Manly Marlins before returning to the UK last summer with Hartpury where he enjoyed a fine campaign before heading to Bedford.

Before returning to Bedford at the start of this season, flying winger Tapley had spent the previous year living and playing in Australia which included a spell alongside former Blues fly half Myles Dorrian at Warringah Rats.

It's been six years since a fresh-faced Tapley joined Bedford from Cambridge following an impressive trial at Goldington Road. Quickly establishing himself as a fan favourite and being included in the 2015/16 Championship Dream Team.  Tapley is now back and continued his fine record which now boasts 50 tries in 84 Blues appearances

Sam, Ed and Pat join new signings Grayson Hart (London Scottish), Robbie Smith (Glasgow Warriors), Joe Wrafter (Birmingham Moseley), Joe Atkinson (Wasps), Scott Jenkins (Scarlets), Dan Temm (Yorkshire Carnegie) and Matt Worley (Northampton Saints) at Goldington Road next season while Will Hooley, Jacob Fields, Will Carrick-Smith, Ed Taylor, Josh Buggea, Dean Adamson, Oli Curry, Lewis Robling, James Lennon, Ryan Hutler, Rich Lane, Alex Penny and Sean McCarthy have all agreed new deals to remain at the club.

Next Home Match

Friday 23rd August
1st XV Pre Season
Goldington Road