Blues name side to face Pirates

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The 2016/17 Championship season gets underway this afternoon as Bedford Blues welcome the Cornish Pirates to Goldington Road.

The familiar foes go head to head once more and, if last season is anything to go by - the aggregate score over the two league fixtures was 86-78 to Bedford - a high scoring game could be on the cards.

There has been a fair amount of change at Goldington Road with players coming and going and for the opening Championship fixture of the campaign, as Bedford Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer gives competitive debuts to four summer signings while five new recruits take a place on the bench.

Speaking ahead of the fixture, Rayer said: “Although we’ve had a quite a few personnel changes over the summer, it’s great to able to name 11 players in the starting XV who have played in the Championship for Bedford Blues.

“We will rely heavily on their experience combined with the enthusiasm of the new lads and try to get off to a positive start.

“The Pirates will be a bit of an unknown quantity but they have always played a great brand of rugby whenever they’ve come to Goldington Road.

“We can’t wait to get started now and are looking forward to seeing what this group of lads can achieve.”

Starting Line-up: 15. Elliot Clement-Hill; 14. George Perkins; 13. Michael Le Bourgeois (c); 12. Tom Griffiths; 11. Dean Adamson; 10. Jake Sharp; 9. Jordan Burns; 1. Camilo Parilli-Ocampo; 2. Jacob Fields; 3. Christian Judge; 4. Mike Howard; 5. Will Carrick-Smith; 6. Justin Blanchet; 7. Josh Buggea; 8. Ben Adams.

Replacements: 16. George Edgson; 17. Hayden Thompson-Stringer; 18. Dave Spelman; 19. Ed Taylor; 20. Jason Hill; 21. Tom James; 22. Myles Dorrian.