Less than 24 hours after the annual fireworks extravaganza, Bedford Blues will be hoping for an even bigger display on the pitch when they welcome second placed Yorkshire Carnegie to Goldington Road on Saturday afternoon.

Games against Carnegie are always tough as shown last season when just five points separated the two teams as Bedford picked up a 15-10 victory at home. The corresponding fixture at Headingley also went the way of the home team with Carnegie taking the spoils 15-8.

Looking ahead to the game, Blues Team Manager Rob Crowle said: “Having last weekend off has allowed some extra recuperation time within the squad and we are delighted to be welcoming back a host of players who were suffering knocks beforehand.

“Our last game against Ealing certainly wasn’t our prettiest performance and the lads know that we expect a lot more from them. That said, we played right up until the final whistle and showed great composure to force the penalty which was superbly struck to seal the win.

“We have a huge task ahead of us this Saturday against a team tipped for the play-offs but the squad have trained hard this week and are all looking forward to getting straight back into action.”

Bedford make seven changes from the team which overcame Ealing Trailfinders with Steffan Jones, Michael LE Bourgeois, Myles Dorrian and Peter White all starting in the backs while Biyi Alo, Harry Wells and Paul Tupai come into the pack. There is a welcome place on the bench for hooker Sam James and back rower Joel Conlon who have both recovered from a pre-season injuries and could be in line for their Blues debut while James Pritchard is also named following his World Cup exploits with Canada.

Starting line-up:
15. Steffan Jones
14. George Perkins
13. Michael Le Bourgeois
12. Tom Griffiths
11. Dean Adamson
10. Myles Dorrian
9. Peter White

1. Alex Lundberg
2. Charlie Clare
3. Biyi Alo
4. Harry Wells
5. Mark Flanagan
6. Nick Fenton-Wells (c)
7. Josh Buggea
8. Paul Tupai
16. Sam James
17. Camilo Parilli-Ocampo
18. Mike Howard
19. Joel Conlon
20. Jordan Burns
21. Jake Sharp
22. James Pritchard