Draw made for U19 battle at Goldington Road

Blues Academy players are raring to go for the tournament. Picture (c) bgrphotography
Blues Academy players are raring to go for the tournament. Picture (c) bgrphotography

The draw for the Bedford Blues U19 10-a-side tournament was conducted on Friday night ahead of the Blues’ game against Cornish Pirates.

The draw, which was made by Cornish Pirates chairman Ian Connell, and Ian Baggott, president of the East Midlands Referees Society, has determined which teams go into each pool for the inaugural tournament on Sunday, April 26 at Goldington Road.

Bedford Blues Academy have been drawn in Pool A, along with Moseley, East Midlands RU and Worcester Warriors, while Pool B will contain Nottingham, Ealing Trailfinders, London Scottish and Cambridge University.

The pool stage will be played in a round robin format, with each team playing one another in games of eight minutes each way.

The winner of Pool A will then play the winner of Pool B in the tournament final, while the second placed teams in each pool will go head-to-head for the Plate trophy.

Bedford Blues chairman Geoff Irvine, who is also chair of the Championship Clubs Committee at the RFU, said: “The Championship plays a vital role in English Rugby and has produced many players who have gone on to play in the Premiership, and for England.

“This tournament is an ideal opportunity to show off the fantastic player development work that is being carried out by the Championship clubs.

“The Championship Academies play a key role in developing players for first team squads and you don’t have to look any further than here at Bedford to see that impact.

“We have seven players in our current squad who have come through the ranks at our Academy while many others have passed through and gone on to Premiership and some to international accolades.”

Denis Ormesher, Bedford Blues Academy director, added: “The draw has thrown up some interesting matches between a number of sides who do not normally play each other.

“After a season of 15-a-side it will be fascinating to see which players cope best with the 10-a-side format.

“Tens is a great game to watch – it needs all the contact skills of 15s, but the extra space rewards sides who can move the ball and have got pace to finish. It should produce a great day of rugby.”