1st XV News

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the Greene King IPA Championship Clubs have today announced a new five year agreement which will see an uplift in central funding, further strengthening the partnership between the two parties for the continued growth of the second tier.

The RFU will increase its central funding of the competition to include a range of elements, designed to further enhance the second tier of professional rugby.

Bedford have been leap-frogged in the Championship by Yorkshire Carnegie after a 15-8 defeat in Leeds on Sunday afternoon writes Bedfordshire on Sunday.

Blues drove up north looking for a vital win after just one victory in their last six games, with just one place separating them and Carnegie in the table.

Steffan Jones, Mike Le Bourgeois, Darryl Veenendaal, Paul Tupai and Hayden Thompson-Stringer all returned to the starting fifteen, while Luke Baldwin was named on the replacements bench after re-joining the club on loan from Bristol.

After a weekend off, Bedford Blues return to action as they travel to Leeds on Sunday afternoon to face Yorkshire Carnegie in Round 17 of the Greene King IPA Championship.

Bedford and Yorkshire Carnegie last met back in November in a ‘Friday Night Lights’ encounter  at Goldington Road when typical bad English weather made for a difficult game for both sides. Carnegie got the scoring underway with David Doherty dotting down in the corner but it wasn’t long before Bedford replied through Darryl Veenendaal. Penalties were exchanged before an all-important Jim Wiglesworth try in the 50th minute was converted by Jake Sharp to secure a 15-10 victory.

Bedford Blues will be opening its gates on Sunday April 26 to some of the most talented young rugby players in the country as it hosts an inaugural Under 19s 10-a-side tournament.

The invitational competition - which came to fruition following discussions between Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer and Academy Director Denis Ormesher - is designed to showcase the player development work being carried out by a number of Championship Clubs as well as providing a competitive end of season focus for those taking part.

As announced last week two of the town’s great institutions are coming together to host a spectacular weekend of Bedford Beer and Rugby at Goldington Road on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st March. 

Charles Wells and Bedford Blues have been working in partnership for decades with the local brewery backing the team as sponsors and fans supping Bedford's beers at the Goldington Road ground.  

Following defeat against Worcester Warriors at Goldington Road on Saturday, Bedford Blues will be looking to bounce straight back against Yorkshire Carnegie when they make the trip to Leeds on Sunday 8th March. 

The Blues suffered a 32-17 defeat to former Premiership side Warriors at the weekend having been 17-0 up at half time, but Backs Coach Paul Larkin insists there were plenty of positives to take forward ahead of the Blues’ trip to Yorkshire.

Bedford Blues are pleased to announce that scrum half Luke Baldwin is set to rejoin the club on loan from Bristol until the end of the Greene King IPA Championship season.

Baldwin, 24, spent two and a half seasons with Bedford from 2010 and played a pivotal role in helping the Blues reach the 2012/13 Championship final against Newcastle Falcons.

In December 2013, the former Saracens man agreed a deal with Bristol before making one final appearance in a Blues shirt as Bedford overcame London Welsh - who would go on to win promotion to the Premiership - 28-26 in a thrilling game at Goldington Road.

There are numerous sporting clichés that should never be used in a match report – always play to the whistle, don’t talk back to the referee, they’re in a league of their own  - but on Saturday afternoon the ugliest one of all reared its head. This truly was a ‘game of two halves’...

If Mr Foley hadn’t blown his whistle after 40 minutes then it could have been an extremely good day to be at Goldington Road. Viliami Hakalo had scored one try and set up a second while James  Pritchard converted both and Jake Sharp dropped a goal – not bad being 17-0 up against the league leaders.

It is a return to action at Goldington Road this weekend as Bedford Blues welcome league leaders Worcester Warriors through the gates on Saturday afternoon.

The Blues will be looking to bounce straight back from a disappointing defeat away to Jersey last weekend and they couldn’t face a bigger task than hosting the Championship leaders who haven’t tasted defeat since Round One.

Bedford Blues return to Goldington Road this Saturday 21st February as they prepare for one of their toughest challenges yet against league leaders Worcester Warriors (Kick Off 3pm).

The Blues suffered a disappointing defeat away at Jersey last weekend and Mike Rayer’s men will be looking to rectify their mistakes with a stand-out performance against former Premiership side Warriors following Bedford’s strong performance against Plymouth Albion last time out on their own paddock. The support of a roaring 16th man will no doubt be needed if the Blues are to have a chance of exacting revenge over Dean Ryan’s side.

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