Bedford Blues host their annual Ladies Day on Saturday with the Blues hoping to put on a show for the bumper crowd when they take on Stirling County, writes Michael Hann.
After getting their British & Irish Cup campaign off to a winning start last weekend, Blues director of rugby Mike Rayer does not know what to expect from this weekend’s Scottish opposition.
“I’ve had look at their team and they have got some good players there but I don’t know a lot about the rest,” he admitted.
“It is one of those games where you have got to concentrate on yourselves and make sure you get your own house in order – while being aware of any threats they have.”
Bedford will be without Ben Ransom for the visit of Stirling but James Pritchard and Mark Atkinson could feature, while Don Barrell could also return to the squad.
Rayer continued: “Ben Ransom has a slight hamstring strain so he is out for the weekend. As far as the rest go Darren Fox still needs to keep playing and Mark Atkinson needs to come back into the equation.
“Pritch was more of a rest last week. He is our captain and our number one goal-kicker so he is very important to us.
“But there are still lads playing well out there at the moment so there might be a little bit of rotation in certain areas where we have got particular strengths – but it will be a bit more of a consistent team out this week.
“The good thing over the next few weeks is that Don Barrell is available for the next three weeks so it adds a bit more competition for places.”
The Blues produced a dominant display against Bedwas last time out and Rayer was delighted with the manner in which his team approached the match.
“I think the way we set up our work, particularly in the first half, laid the platform upfront,” he said.
“It was a new environment, we spent four hours on a bus so when you throw all that into the mix I was pleased with the players’ attitude.
“We managed to get four tries before half time but more importantly we established ourselves upfront and that gave us the launch pad to continue that in the second half.”
It is Ladies Day at Goldington Road this Saturday and the Blues director of rugby says it is an occasion that everyone at the club enjoys.
“I think the players embrace all these activities whether it is Ladies Day, Movember or the services day which we have got planned for later in November,” Rayer said.
“It is all about making Goldington Road an occasion to come to and if you get a good atmosphere your players respond to it.”
“You have got to back that up on the pitch, but they do enjoy this day and we have had some good performances in the past.”
Chairman Geoff Irvine, meanwhile, is very keen for success in the competition and added: “Along with this special shirt we’ve commissioned for the British & Irish Cup as a club we will be taking the British & Irish Cup very seriously and we would want the fans to turn out in their numbers.
“We will be doing our very best to win it.”