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Bedford Blues centre Mark Atkinson will be plying his trade in the Aviva Premiership next season after agreeing a deal to play for Gloucester.

Atkinson, 24, was one of the key signings for Bedford in 2012 and helped the Blues reach the Championship play-off final in his first season with the club and has remained an influential part of the squad this term.

Bedford were hard done by as London Welsh registered five tries to run out 29-11 winners in their Green King IPA Championship clash at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford on Sunday afternoon.

With only eight points in it late on, Bedford’s Tony Fenner looked to break clear for a certain try which might have changed the game, only for referee Darren Gamage to bring the Blues back for crossing.

The Exiles scored a penalty try and four further scores in total on the day, with Seb Jewell bagging a brace alongside tries from Tom May and Nick Scott, with Will Robinson converting two in windy conditions.

Having already captured Nick Fenton-Wells on a permanent deal, Bedford Blues have moved quickly to secure the services of one of the most exciting youngsters plying his trade in National League Two as well as re-signing three of the current squad.

Fullback and winger Jim Wigglesworth has joined Bedford Blues from near neighbours Cambridge where he has been a standout performer this season. The 20 year old England Counties star hails from Derbyshire and includes Hull and Nottingham as his former clubs as well as a summer season with Rugby League outfit Hull FC.

With the season tally standing at one win apiece, Sunday's Greene King IPA Championship clash between Bedford Blues and London Welsh looks set to be a corker as each team looks to finish the regular campaign in style.

While the Blues will not be competing for a top four place this time around the former Premiership side will be hoping to finsih as high as possible as they look for an immediate bounce back to the top table.

The sides met on the opening weekend for the inaugural 'Double-Header' at Allianz Park which resulted in the Exiles claiming a 23-14 victory in a game that saw a player from each side red carded.

Bedford battled hard at Vallis Way on Saturday afternoon as they claimed a 39-23 victory over Ealing Trailfinders. The Blues touched down five tries and to claim a bonus-point win and deny the Green & Whites anything out of the game in the process.

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Saturday 26th April
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
3.00pm

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