1st XV News

Bedford Blues was deeply saddened to hear of the premature death of former player Norman Hadley at the age of just 51 over the Easter weekend.

A Canadian international, who captained Canada five times, he made an outstanding contribution to his country's success in reaching the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup in 1991.

Second row 'Stormin' Norm joined Bedford at the start of the professional era in 1996 and although uncompromising on the field he proved a popular gentle giant in the clubhouse.

Bedford Blues fell just short against Yorkshire Carnegie at a blustery Headingley as the hosts ran out 35-20 victors in front of the Sky Sports cameras with Blues unlucky not to pick up two bonus points.

Mike Rayer’s men did lead briefly against their fellow top four contenders through a terrific try by Dean Adamson early in the second half, but the home side managed to rescue 17 unanswered points to close it out with Bedford deserving a last-minute consolation, only to be ruled out by a frequent TMO.

Bedford Blues head north this weekend as they prepare to face fourth placed Yorkshire Carnegie in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Sunday afternoon.

Both teams have 58 points in the Championship table, but the Blues sit in third place having won one more game than their opponents.

When the teams met at Goldington Road back in November, Carnegie had stormed into a 21 point lead with 17 minutes remaining before three Blues tries from Camilo Parilli-Ocampo, Steffan Jones and George Perkins turned things around. With the game in the balance, Jones then slotted a 50 plus metre penalty in the dying moments to seal the victory.

Doing the double over any team always leaves a good taste, but it will be extra sweet for Doncaster Knights if they can close the gap to Championship leaders Bristol Rugby with victory in the first-versus-second clash this weekend.

Coming into Round 19, the Knights sit ten points adrift of their title rivals with four regular season games left to play.

If reeling in that difference was not motivation enough, hosts Doncaster will welcome their opponents to Castle Park still smarting from a disappointing British and Irish Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Cornish Pirates.

With four games left in the Greene King IPA Championship season, Bedford Blues are delighted to confirm one new signing along with two re-signings for the 2016/17 campaign.

Lock Will Carrick-Smith is heading to Goldington Road having signed on from fellow Championship side London Scottish. The second row star who stands at an impressive six feet 11 inches and tips the scales at 129kg (that’s 20 stone 4lb) has had one season at the Exiles having previously gained Premiership experience with Exeter Chiefs.

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