Bedford Blues and Ampthill Rugby Club have come to one another's aid to deal with a couple of fixture issues that could have scuppered everyone's fun.

With Dillingham Park suffering in the blazing sunshine, the Blues have opened the gates to Goldington Road so that the A's can fulfil their pre-season friendly against Ebbw Vale. The game will now kick-off at the conclusion of Bedford's match with Premiership Champions Saracens on Saturday 18th August.

Ampthill Director of Rugby Mark Lavery said: "The current weather condition had left a bit of a question mark about the possibility of our fixture with Ebbw Vale going ahead, but after chatting with Mike and the Blues board it was agreed that we could use Goldington Road. We are very grateful Bedford and hope that everyone has a great day of rugby."

Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer added: "It's going to be a fantastic festival of rugby as we welcome Saracens, Ampthill and Ebbw Vale to Goldington Road on Saturday 18th August. Fingers crossed the sunshine will remain and we can all enjoy ourselves ahead of the Championship and National One seasons."

But there's further good news!

With no festive fixture in the calendar for either team over the Christmas and New Year week, the two have decided to go head-to-head at Goldington Road on Boxing Day. While it may not be a competitive fixture, there will be plenty of local pride at stake as the two biggest rugby teams in Bedfordshire face-off at 3pm on Wednesday 26th December.

Speaking about the fixture, Rayer said: "I think everyone was a little disappointed that we had no Christmas or New Year fixture in the calendar so the club made the decision to add one and we're delighted to be facing Ampthill who also found themselves in the same situation.

"With such a long break between games, it's important to keep the lads match fit during the winter months so this will be an excellent test to keep everyone on their toes. We know Ampthill have a fantastic squad and it would be no surprise to see this fixture being a league one sooner rather than later.

"We want to say a big thank you to Mark (Lavery) and everyone at Ampthill for agreeing to this game and I hope that all local rugby fans can come along and enjoy a bit of festive fun!"

"It's great news that we've been able to arrange a fixture for Boxing Day against Bedford Blues and it will be a great opportunity for us to push ourselves against Mike Rayer's men," added Lavery.

"It's been a few years since we last played the Blues at Goldington Road but I'm sure everyone will be up for the challenge and we'll be raring to go!"

Tickets and hospitality are now on sale for Bedford Blues pre-season fixtures against English Premiership Champions Saracens and National One side Bishop’s Stortford. Just visit www.bedfordrugby.co.uk for all the information and to purchase tickets. Entry for Ampthill's game against Ebbw Vale will be free with admission available at the conclusion of the Blues game against Saracens.