Blues rotate squad for Doncaster trip

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Bedford Blues will be making the most of their squad when they travel north to face unbeaten Doncaster Knights in the British & Irish Cup at Castle Park on Saturday afternoon.

The cup competition has been a mixed bag for the Blues having been awarded a bonus point win against the Cornish Pirates in the opening round despite losing the game 35-34.

The Pirates were found to have broken the regulations concerning front row replacements meaning that the result ahead of the breach was reverted to, although Pirate have since challenged the decision.

This was then followed up by a disappointing loss to Cross Keys despite the Blues being 19-3 ahead within the first quarter of the game at Goldington Road, only for the visitors to fight back and nick the win with a converted try in stoppage time.

Blues Defence Coach Ian Vass said: “Everyone was left pretty deflated by the result last weekend and we know that we really do need have to give ourselves a kick up the backside to ensure that the same thing doesn’t happen again.

“Doncaster are the only team to boast two bonus point wins in the cup this season and we know that they will be eager to make that three in a row in front of their home fans while trying to cement their spot at the top of the Pool.

“We’ve had a good look at the footage from the weekend and the lads have had the opportunity to address what went wrong – now we have to head back out on the field and put everything right in the hope of boosting our own chances of qualifying from this group.”

Only Michael Le Bourgeois and Darrell Dyer retain their place in the backs form last weekend as Director of Rugby Mike Rayer rings the changes while Jared Saunders and Justin Blanchet both come into the forwards with Paul Tupai captaining the team.

Blues: 15. Jim Wigglesworth; 14. Pat Tapley; 13. Michael Le Bourgeois; 12. Ollie Dodge; 11. Darrell Dyer; 10. Jake Sharp; 9. Darryl Veenendaal; 1. Camilo Parilli-Ocampo; 2. Jared Saunders; 3. James Currie; 4. Mike Howard; 5. Eoin Sheriff; 6. Paul Tupai (c); 7. Justin Blanchet; 8. Joe Vandermolen.

Replacements: 16. TJ Harris, 17. Phil Boulton, 18. Harry Wells, 19. Nick Fenton-Wells, 20. Peter White, 21. Steffan Jones, 22. Viliami Hakalo.