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Martin Haag insists his Championship XV showed off the league's quality after they battled back from behind at Sixways to clinch a thrilling 28-23 victory against international opposition in Canada.

The Championship first combined to take on the Maori All Blacks in 2012 and while that match ended in a 52-21 defeat, this game was anything but one-sided.

Kyle Gilmour and Gordon McRorie tries gave the Canadians the advantage in the first half, though London Scottish's Mark Bright did trundle through for the hosts.

Congratulations to ex-Blues Academy players Lawrence Rayner, and Kieran Hallet, who are both named in the Championship XV squad to face Canada at Worcester’s Sixways ground today.

Lawrence Rayner, who played in the Blues Academy squad in 2010/11 season, before moving to play at Old Albanians, and is now at Plymouth, starts at fly half.  Kieran Hallett was in the Blues Academy from 1982 – 84 before he made his debut for the Blues 1st XV as a 19 year old.  He played Ireand U19s, and U21s, Plymouth and Nottingham, before joining Cornish Pirates in 2012,  and is called up to the Championship XV bench.

With a 20pts – 8 win over the RAF U23 XV, away at RAF Halton, to add to their wins over Oxford University U21s last Saturday and Wasps Academy U19s on Wednesday, the Blues Academy completed an impressive three wins in eight days.  The RAF are in the final stages of preparation for the Inter-Services competition which takes place at the end of November.  

With a number of players missing because of representative games (East Midlands, Eastern Counties and Surrey), and a number missing due to injury and availability, the Blues made eight changes to the starting lineup that beat Wasps.

Championship XV coaches Martin Haag and Kevin Maggs have confirmed their starting line-up ahead of Sunday's fixture against Canada at Sixways Stadium, kick-off 3.15pm, with Blues captain Nick Fenton-Wells starting against former captain James Pritchard.

In the backline Moseley Rugby find strong centre representation in Will Owen and Greg King, flanked by Rotherham's Michael Keating and Miles Mantella of London Scottish on the wings. Jack Tovey starts at full-back, while Lawrence Rayner is selected at fly-half. Tom Kessell completes the backs at scrum-half.

After wins against Oxford University U21s and Wasps Academy U19s this week, the Blues Academy have their third game in eight days when they travel to play the RAF U23 XV at RAF Halton on Saturday.  The game is at RAF Halton (directions below) with a 2.30 pm Kick Off.  Bedford beat the RAF U23 side six weeks ago by 45pts -10 at Goldington Road.  The RAF are in the final stages of preparation for the Inter-Services competition which takes place at the end of November.

Bedford again rotate their squad and make eight changes to the starting lineup that beat Wasps.

Bedford Academy beat the Wasps Academy on a miserable wet night by 13pts - 12 at Goldington Road.  Playing down the slope, with the weather behind them, the Blues took a lead of 13pts – 5 at half time through a dominant forward performance, before Wasps fought back in the second to narrow the gap, but leave Bedford with a 13pts – 12 win.

For Match Report see .... here

The RFU and Worcester Warriors will launch a Flash Sale on Wednesday morning from 8am to Thursday evening at 5pm for all supporters to purchase tickets for this Sunday’s  Championship XV v Canada match at Sixways for just £7.50 via the club website.

The Championship XV concept will be reignited following its 2012 success against the Maori All Blacks. The best English qualified XV from across the league will face Canada in a showpiece game highlighting the talent on offer in the second tier, providing a unique international experience for players and spectators alike.

Bedford Blues would like to thank everyone who was involved and attended Ladies Day 2014 at Goldington Road last week in helping make it another memorable occasion and raising £3,792.14 for Cancer Research UK.

The 2,425 people through the gates particularly helped make last Saturday a huge success in supporting such a great cause through donation, beauty treatments, hospitality, raffles and another great auction with our MC Sam Roberts.

After a 18pts – 7 win over Oxford University U21 XV on Saturday, Blues supporters have another chance to support the Blues Academy when they welcome the Wasps Academy to Bedford on Wednesday October 29th.  The game is at Goldington Road, Kick Off 7.30 pm.  The bar is open, and admission is free.

Bedford make 13 changes to the starting lineup that beat Oxford University.

A strong second half performance wasn’t enough for Bedford Blues as they lost 36-20 in the British and Irish Cup at pool four leaders Doncaster Knights on Saturday afternoon, writes Ryan Lewis of the Bedford Times & Citizen.

The defeat leaves Bedford nine points adrift of Doncaster, who have a maximum of 15 points in the pool and look favourites to qualify for the quarter-finals.

The Blues made a number of changes off the back of the last minute defeat to Cross Keys last week, with only eight players retaining their place in the starting XV and in contrast to last week’s strong start, it was Bedford’s turn to fall behind early on.

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Friday 28th November
1st XV B&I Cup
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
7.45pm

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