With the waiting finally over and the Greene King IPA Championship season upon us, Bedford Blues have named their team to take on Richmond at 5pm on Saturday evening.

After an enthralling pre-season campaign that saw the Blues pick up good wins over Plymouth Albion and Blackheath as well as a cracking run-out against European Champions Saracens, Bedford are all geared up for the season ahead.

While last season's visit to Richmond Athletic Ground is one that the Blues will want to forget, a much different Blues team will take to the field this time around to start the new campaign in style.

Looking ahead to the fixture, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: "As you can imagine, there’s been a real excitement around the camp this week. Everyone is keen to get out there and see how we perform. A lot of new faces have arrived and we are hoping we gel pretty quickly.
"Pre-season is one thing, Championship rugby is another and trying to get league points anywhere on a weekly basis will come down to who gets it right on the day. This is where we expect our new and more experienced signings to step up and guide the boys through the 80 minutes."

Six players - Chris Czekaj, Rich Lane, Will Hooley, Lee Dickson, Tom Lindsay and Jarad Williams - will be making their Blues debut from the kick-off with Alex Rae making his first start since rejoining the club. There will also be three new faces - Sean McCarthy, Alex Penny and Harry Sheppard - named on the replacements bench ready to make an impact when called upon.

Starting line-up:

15. Chris Czekaj
14. Howard Packman
13. Rich Lane
12. Michael Le Bourgeois (c)
11. Dean Adamson
10. Will Hooley
9. Lee Dickson

1. Camilo Parilli-Ocampo
2. Tom Lindsay
3. Ben Cooper
4. Ed Taylor
5. Will Carrick-Smith
6. Alex Rae
7. Ben Adams
8. Jarad Williams

16. Jacob Fields
17. Sean McCarthy
18. Alex Penny
19. Paul Tupai
20. Jordan Burns
21. Harry Sheppard
22. Ollie Dodge

Next Home Match

Saturday 27th October
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road