Goodman signs for Blues

The Bedford Blues' back row will take on a formidable look this season after signing Bath's Chris Goodman.

Director of rugby Mike Rayer's squad-building has already seen him capture forwards Alex Rae and Ben Lewitt from neighbours Northampton Saints and Goodman will add more depth to what has become an area of significant strength.

The 24-year-old, pictured right, who has represented England at U19 and U21 level, has played over 40 times for the Premiership club and Rayer believes he has made an excellent acquisition.

He said: "We thought long and hard about it, but when a quality player of that standing comes up, it's worth going for. Seeing what other sides like Doncaster and Exeter did to us, you want to have that strength in depth.

"Nick Walshe said what a good player he was and to have five players of that ability in the back row, especially with the way the game is going, is pleasing."

As to what Goodman will bring to an already high-class back row, Rayer said: "He'll bring ball-carrying ability and strong work at the breakdown.

"He's not had much rugby, is a good age and is keen to prove what he can do."

While questions may be raised regarding the second row after Mouritz Botha's departure to Saracens, Rayer said that the club were on the case and that the pros of another back-rower far outweighed the cons.

He added: "It's coincided with Mouritz leaving. There are a few second rows dotted about, but none who offered what Chris will bring.

"It leaves us a bit light in the second row – we're trying to get someone in on loan – but I felt it was worth strengthening up the back row when someone like Chris became available.

"It's not like we don't have options. Gregor Gillanders and Paul Tupai can play second row if necessary, but overall we're not in bad shape."