Bedford Blues will be hoping to cut Cornish Pirates down to size when they face them at Goldington Road tomorrow (Friday) night, writes Michael Hann.
After a week’s break from Championship action, director of rugby Mike Rayer is hoping his side will be refreshed and ready for action. “We gave the boys four days off and they came in last Thursday evening,” Rayer said.
“They have rocked up fresh on Monday and are looking forward to Friday.
“There was a feelgood factor after the Doncaster game to steal it at the death so we could have carried on after that. But the break was in there so we just have to handle it the best we can and look forward.”
Bedford will continue to be without winger James Stephenson who is out with a toe injury, however Luke Baldwin is back amongst the Blues’ ranks after returning from Saracens.
On Stephenson’s injury Rayer said: “He is up and running but he’s not fully fit. At a stretch he could be involved on Friday but at this stage it is not looking likely.”
Cornish Pirates are sixth in the table, so Rayer is expecting another fierce battle with their old adversaries.
“Our rivalry stretches back years and years with Cornish Pirates and it is a healthy one,” he continued.
“We have had some really good encounters with them and you can never tell who is going to win.
“They are quite creative in the way they play the game at times so we have got to be on our mettle.
“But first and foremost we have got to get our performance right by making sure we know what the Pirates are about and we should know by now.”
Friday’s game is being dedicated to Movember and is a chance for rugby fans sporting their facial hair to gain two for one entry to the ground. The Blues will also be opening their gates for free to all members of the armed forces as well as emergency service staff.
Captain for the night and lead Mo Bro Sacha Harding added: “Over the years everyone at the club has really bought into the event and we have been able to raise a lot of money for this fantastic cause.
“We’ve got a huge game against the Pirates on Friday to deal with first but then our attention turns to raising lots of money for this wonderful charity and it is sure to be a fantastic night.”
Before the game there will be a pre-match meal and raffle, while the specially designed jerseys that the players will wear against the Pirates go under the hammer in the marquee afterwards to raise further funds for the charity.
Another auction prize up for grabs will be a behind-the-scenes tour of Sky Sports 3D coverage of the Heineken Cup match between Northampton and Ulster on December 7.
The prize package includes tickets for the game and a chance to meet the on-screen talent.
Blues: Darren Fearn, Neil Cochrane, Phil Boulton, Mike Howard, Ben Gulliver, Gregor Gillanders, Sacha Harding (C), Paul Tupai, Luke Baldwin, Jake Sharp, Josh Bassett, Henry Staff, Brendan Burke, Mark Kohler, Mark Atkinson. Replacements: Scott Spurling, Ricky Reeves, Dan Seal, Alex Rae, Darren Fox, Daryl Veenendaal, Ian Vass.