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Promotion from the Championship to the Premiership will be decided on who finishes top of the league after the RFU Council approved a three-season plan to remove the end-of-season play-off system between the top four teams.

From next season, the club who finishes top of the table will be crowned the winner of the Greene King IPA Championship and will be promoted into Premiership Rugby the following season if they satisfy the Minimum Standards Criteria of the premier club competition.

Bedford Blues have announced a much changed line-up for their trip to Lady Bay on Sunday afternoon as they face Nottingham in the Greene King IPA Championship.

The Blues will be looking to bounce back immediately following their home defeat to Ealing Trailfinders last weekend. The two teams appeared to be evenly matched, but the visitors pulled away in the last ten minutes and Bedford couldn't find a way back into the game.

Bedford Blues have secured the services of experienced prop James Hallam for the remainder of the 2016/17 Greene King IPA Championship season.

After it was confirmed that Jack Culverhouse would require surgery to a hip injury, the Blues moved quickly to sign Hallam ahead of the transfer deadline which passed on Friday 24th February.

Speaking about the signing, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: "James has considerable experience in the Championship and we are delighted to welcome him to Goldington Road for the remainder of the season. 

Not for the first time this season, Bedford’s mistakes cost them dearly as top four hunting Ealing Trailfinders picked up a 16-29 victory at Goldington Road.

It was the fourth meeting between the two sides this season and Ealing continued their good fortune by pouncing on the Blues errors. Bedford scored a couple of cracking tries through Piers O’Conor and Elliot Clements-Hill, but Mark Bright and Mile Mantella scored for the visitors while Aaron Penberthy hit 19 points from his boot.

Bedford Blues return to Goldington Road this weekend as they welcome high flying Ealing Trailfinders in the Greene King IPA Championship.

The  Blues head into the game looking to build on their impressive display against Rotherham Titans last weekend in which Bedford won their first game of 2017 21-36 thanks to tries from Elliot Clements-Hill, Ollie Dodge, Ben Adams, Jordan Burns and Piers O'Conor.

The task ahead is a huge one though, as Ealing maintain their charge for a top four finish and are yet to taste defeat to Bedford in three games this season thanks to two wins and a draw.

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Next Home Match

Saturday 9th September
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
3.00pm

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