Despite losing their opening three games of the Greene King IPA Championship season, Bedford Blues head down to Plymouth in buoyant mood following a greatly improved performance against league leaders London Scottish last weekend.
The final scoreline read 36-30 to the hosts with the Blues picking up two bonus points and looking ahead to this weekend’s fixture, Blues backs coach Paul Larkin said: “There have been improvements throughout every game we have played which is very encouraging from a coach’s point of view.
“The forwards’ work last week was particularly pleasing and impressive which gave the backs a platform to play from and express the free flowing rugby we know they are capable of.
“Plymouth are a different side to London Scottish so we need to work on different things. They will be very well organised and use a different defence system, but if we play like we did in the latter stages of last weekend’s game then we’ll put ourselves in good position to take the points.
“There’s no doubting Plymouth are a strong team and they will also have been spurred on by their own impressive display against Rotherham so I have no doubt that Saturday’s clash is going to be a great one.”
Saturday’s game at Brickfields has come a little too soon for new Blues signing Viliami Hakalo and Director of Rugby Mike Rayer has kept the faith with the majority of the squad who performed so well last week.
The only changes sees Jake Sharp and Ollie Dodge coming in behind the scrum and up front Eoin Sheriff starts his first game of the season in the place of Harry Wells, who has gone back to Leicester on loan to ease their current injury crisis.
Blues: 15. James Pritchard; 14. Pat Tapley; 13. Henry Staff; 12. Ollie Dodge; 11. Dean Adamson; 10. Jake Sharp; 9. Peter White; 1. Billy Moss; 2. Jared Saunders; 3. Phil Boulton; 4. Mike Howard; 5. Eoin Sheriff; 6. Paul Tupai; 7. Josh Buggea; 8. Nick Fenton-Wells (c).
Replacements: 16. Charlie Clare, 17. Camilo Parilli-Ocampo, 18. James Currie, 19. Hayden Thompson-Stringer, 20. Darryl Veenendaal, 21. Steffan Jones, 22. Jim Wigglesworth.