Bedwas, Neath and Stirling County beckon for Blues
SOME 32 teams will compete in an expanded British & Irish Cup in the fourth year of the cross-border competition.
Bedwas, Neath and Stirling County have all been place in Pool Two alongside Bedford Blues.
Title holders Munster A have been drawn in Pool Seven alongside Aberavon, Plymouth Albion and Rotherham Titans, while last year’s runners-up Cross Keys are in Pool Four with local rivals Newport plus Connacht and Championship newcomers Newcastle Falcons.
The teams, from the four home nations, are drawn in eight pools of four, with only the pool winners qualifying for the knockout stages.
In addition to 12 teams being added to the competition, another format switch sees clubs now face each other home and away in the pool stages.
The participating teams comprise the 12 teams from the RFU Championship, the development teams from the four Irish provinces, the top four teams from Scotland’s RBS Premier Division One last season and the 12 teams from Wales’ Principality Premiership.
Joining the competition for their debut season are Bridgend Ravens, Bedwas, Stirling County, Carmarthen Quins, Dundee HSFP, Newcastle Falcons, Jersey, and Gala.
The competition will now take place over nine rounds and will align with ERC weekends.
This will be the fourth year of the competition with Cornish Pirates, Bristol Rugby and Munster previous winners.
Competition Manager Chris Burns said: “These changes reflect the commitment of all the Unions and clubs to help grow the profile of the B&I Cup within the rugby calendar.”
The pool games will take place as follows: Round One – 12-14 October; Round Two – October 19-21; Round Three – December 7-9; Round Four – December 14-16; Round Five – January 11-13; and Round Six – January 19.
The quarter-finals will be played the weekend of April 5-7, the semi-finals April 26-28 and the final on Friday, May 17 (TBC).
2012-13 British & Irish Cup - Pools
Pool One – Bristol Rugby, Bridgend Ravens, Cardiff and Ulster
Round One: Cardiff v Bristol Rugby and Ulster v Bridgend Ravens
Round Two: Bridgend Ravens v Cardiff and Bristol Rugby v Ulster
Round 3: Bridgend Ravens v Bristol Rugby and Ulster v Cardiff
Round 4: Bristol Rugby v Bridgend Ravens and Cardiff v Ulster
Round 5: Cardiff v Bridgend Ravens and Ulster v Bristol Rugby
Round 6: Bridgend Ravens v Ulster and Bristol Rugby v Cardiff
Pool Two – Bedford Blues, Bedwas, Neath and Stirling County
Round One: Bedwas v Bedford Blues and Stirling County v Neath
Round Two: Bedford Blues v Stirling County and Neath v Bedwas
Round Three: Neath v Bedford Blues and Stirling County v Bedwas
Round Four: Bedford Blues v Neath and Bedwas v Stirling County
Round Five: Bedwas v Neath and Stirling County v Bedford Blues
Round Six: Bedford Blues v Bedwas and Neath v Stirling County
Pool Three – Carmarthen Quins, Dundee HSFP, Cornish Pirates and Swansea
Round One: Cornish Pirates v Carmarthen Quins and Swansea v Dundee HSFP
Round Two: Carmarthen Quins v Swansea and Dundee HSFP v Cornish Pirates
Round Three: Carmarthen Quins v Dundee HSFP and Cornish Pirates v Swansea
Round Four: Dundee HSFP v Carmarthen Quins and Swansea v Cornish Pirates
Round Five: Cornish Pirates v Dundee HSFP and Swansea v Carmarthen Quins
Round Six: Carmarthen Quins v Cornish Pirates and Dundee HSFP v Swansea
Pool Four – Connacht, Cross Keys, Newcastle Falcons and Newport
Round One: Newcastle Falcons v Cross Keys and Newport v Connacht
Round Two: Connacht v Newcastle Falcons and Cross Keys v Newport
Round Three: Cross Keys v Connacht and Newcastle Falcons v Newport
Round Four: Connacht v Cross Keys and Newport v Newcastle Falcons
Round Five: Newcastle Falcons v Connacht and Newport v Cross Keys
Round Six: Connacht v Newport and Cross Keys v Newcastle Falcons
Pool Five – Jersey, Leeds Carnegie, Leinster and Pontypridd
Round One: Jersey v Pontypridd and Leinster v Leeds Carnegie
Round Two: Leeds Carnegie v Jersey and Pontypridd v Leinster
Round Three: Leeds Carnegie v Pontypridd and Leinster v Jersey
Round Four: Jersey v Leinster and Pontypridd v Leeds Carnegie
Round Five: Jersey v Leeds Carnegie and Leinster v Pontypridd
Round Six: Leeds Carnegie v Leinster and Pontypridd v Jersey
Pool Six – Gala, Llanelli, London Scottish and Moseley
Round One: Gala v London Scottish and Moseley v Llanelli
Round Two: Llanelli v Gala and London Scottish v Moseley
Round Three: Gala v Moseley and London Scottish v Llanelli
Round Four: Llanelli v London Scottish and Moseley v Gala
Round Five: Gala v Llanelli and Moseley v London Scottish
Round Six: Llanelli v Moseley and London Scottish v Gala
Pool Seven – Aberavon, Munster, Plymouth Albion and Rotherham Titans
Round One: Aberavon v Rotherham Titans and Plymouth Albion v Munster
Round Two: Munster v Aberavon and Rotherham Titans v Plymouth Albion
Round Three: Aberavon v Plymouth Albion and Rotherham Titans v Munster
Round Four: Munster v Rotherham Titans and Plymouth Albion v Aberavon
Round Five: Aberavon v Munster and Plymouth Albion v Rotherham Titans
Round Six: Munster v Plymouth Albion and Rotherham Titans v Aberavon
Pool Eight – Doncaster Knights, Llandovery, Melrose and Nottingham Rugby
Round One: Doncaster Knights v Melrose and Llandovery v Nottingham Rugby
Round Two: Melrose v Llandovery and Nottingham Rugby v Doncaster Knights
Round Three: Llandovery v Doncaster Knights and Nottingham Rugby v Melrose
Round Four: Doncaster Knights v Llandovery and Melrose v Nottingham
Round Five: Doncaster Knights v Nottingham and Llandovery v Melrose
Round Six: Melrose v Doncaster Knights and Nottingham v Llandovery
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Weather for Bedford
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
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Wind direction: West
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
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