Blues start season at home to Cornish Pirates

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Bedford will begin their RFC Championship campaign at home to Cornish Pirates after the fixtures for the 2016/17 season were announced last week.

The Blues welcome their opponents to Goldington Road on Saturday, September 3, with Mike Rayer’s men then heading to Jersey the following weekend, before returning home to host last season’s Premiership side London Irish.

Bedford finish September with the tricky journey to last season’s Championship finalist Doncaster Knights, while October sees back-to-back home games against newly promoted Richmond and newly named Titans, although still based in Rotherham.

A brace of opening British & Irish Cup fixtures in the middle of October follows before a league trip to Vallis Way to face Ealing Trailfinders at the end of the month, while November kicks off with a Bonfire Night showdown against Nottingham.

Back to back tussles with Exiles will follow as the Blues travel to Old Deer Park to face London Welsh in mid-November before London Scottish arrive in Bedford for a Friday night fixture under the lights.

December sees a league trip to Yorkshire Carnegie before another double round of Cup fixtures lead into the big Boxing Day bonanza at Goldington Road as the Blues welcome Jersey Reds.

The second festive holiday fixture sees a relatively short journey to Reading for the match against London Irish before the culmination of the B&I Cup pool stages, while Blues finish January by entertaining last season’s Championship runners-up Doncaster Knights.

Travels to Richmond and Rotherham fill out February until a home tie with Ealing Trailfinders at the month close, before March again sees Blues on the road with trips to Nottingham and Scottish, interrupted by the home match versus London Welsh on Friday 17 in the Club’s annual two day beer festival.

Blues will be back at home in midweek before March is out as the club hosts the annual Mobbs Match again this season against the Army in a commemorative celebration.

The final home game of the season will pit Bedford against promotion hopefuls Yorkshire Carnegie before a final day trip to Cornwall in mid-April closes the regular campaign ahead of another exciting set of play-offs.

Looking ahead to the coming campaign, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: “Whilst we are fully immersed into pre-season training, seeing the fixtures announced always gives everyone that little bit more focus.

“I’m glad we’ve lined up three tough pre season games now, as these should give us a good platform to hit the ground running in what promises to be another intriguing Championship campaign.”

Bedford Blues have confirmed the times and dates of all home Championship fixtures and will update all away trips as soon as the information is known.

Sat, Aug 13, 2.30pm: Pontypridd v Bedford Blues (Friendly); Fri, Aug 19, 7.45pm: Bedford Blues v Saracens (Friendly); Sat, Aug 27. 3pm: Bedford Blues v Pontypridd (Friendly). Sat, Sep 3, 3pm: Bedford Blues v Cornish Pirates; Sep 9/10/11, TBC: Jersey Reds v Bedford Blues; Sat, Sep 17, 3pm: Bedford Blues v London Irish; Sep 23/24/25, TBC: Doncaster Knights v Bedford Blues; Sat, Oct 1, 3pm: Bedford Blues v Richmond. Fri, Oct 7, 7.45pm: Bedford Blues v Titans. Oct 14/15/16 Oct: B&I Cup. Oct 21/22/23: B&I Cup. Oct 28/29/30: Ealing Trailfinders v Bedford Blues. Sat, Nov 5, 3pm: Bedford Blues v Nottingham. Nov 18/19/20: London Welsh v Bedford Blues. Fri, Nov 25, 7.45pm: Bedford Blues v London Scottish. Dec 2/3/4 Dec: Yorkshire Carnegie v Bedford Blues. Dec 9/10/11 Dec: B&I Cup. Dec 16/17/18 Dec: B&I Cup. Mon, Dec 26: Bedford Blues v Jersey Reds. Dec 30/31 or Jan 1: London Irish v Bedford Blues. Jan 13/14/15: B&I Cup. Jan 20/21/22: B&I Cup. Sat, Jan 28, 3pm: Bedford Blues v Doncaster Knights. Feb 3/4/5 Feb: Richmond v Bedford Blues. Feb 17/18/19 Feb: Titans v Bedford Blues. Sat, Feb 25, 3pm: Bedford Blues v Ealing Trailfinders. Mar 3/4/5: Nottingham v Bedford Blues. Mar 10/11/12: B&I Cup quarter-final. Fri, Mar 17, 7.45pm: Bedford Blues v London Welsh. Mar 24/25/26: London Scottish v Bedford Blues. Tue, Mar 28, 7.45pm: Bedford Blues v The Army - Mobbs Memorial. Mar 31, Apr 1/2: B&I Cup semi-final. Sat, Apr 8, 3pm: Bedford Blues v Yorkshire Carnegie. Apr 14/15/16: Cornish Pirates v Bedford Blues. Apr 21/22/23: B&I Cup final.