Line-ups announced for Pritchard’s big night

Wellingborough Rugby Club raised �2,755 in memory of Steve Hill
Wellingborough Rugby Club raised �2,755 in memory of Steve Hill

Bedford supporters will be in for a treat when Goldington Road hosts James Pritchard’s testimonial this evening.

A Blues select XV will take on a Skippy’s Invitational XV, with many former players returning to pull on the jersey.

Prolific wingers Chris Bajak and James Hinkins return following more than 10 years away, with Liam Roberts in the centre.

The forward pack sees Dan Seal, Sam Walsh, Chris Locke, Sacha Harding and Darren Fox back in a Blues shirt.

Joining them are current first team players Nick Fenton-Wells, Jake Sharp, Ollie Dodge, Darryl Veenendaal, Ben Gulliver, Mike Howard and the 
main man James Pritchard.

Named amongst the replacements is evergreen Paul Tupai, who is joined on the bench by former players Simon Lincoln, Liam Lancaster and 2005 Blues Cup winning captain Matt Allen.

The invitational opposition also sees a long list of former Bedford players named with Defence Coach Ian Vass, Plymouth’s Mark Kohler, the experienced OA’s lock Jon Phillips, Academy Coach Richard Candlin and Saracens’ Academy Coach Don Barrell all in the starting line-up.

Whilst former player and Pritchard’s business partner Jon Wells takes a seat amongst the subs.

Another Goldington Road favourite to keep your eye on will wear the opposing 15 shirt to Skippy, in the shape of full-back Emyr Lewis.

Bringing an international edge to the match is Pritchard’s sole Canadian team-mate and Doncaster lock forward Tyler Hotson who starts in the boilerhouse.

Former Blues player, ex Plymouth coach and now OAs boss’ James Shanahan starts at centre partnered by Andrew Llewellyn.

Other invited players include former Blues’ Laurence White, Lee Anker, Andy Phillips, Gavin Denning, Michael Ormesher, James Ross, Matt Price, Paul Rowlandson, Gavin Williams and Neil Harris.

One star name to watch in the invitational XV has to be England Women’s scrum-half and wife of Blues’ Ben Gulliver, Georgia Gulliver.

Tickets and entrance for Pritchard’s Testimonial Match are only available on the gate with adults entry priced at just a £10 donation and U16s free.

There will also be a Junior Blues rugby exhibition, bouncy castle and activities, plus auctions and raffles, including a lucky door prize to keep everyone entertained throughout the evening.

Gates will open at 6pm, with the rugby starting at 7.30pm.

A percentage of proceeds from the event will be donated to Pritchard’s charity of choice the NSPCC.

Bedford Blues Select XV: 15. James Pritchard, 14. Chris Bajak, 13. Liam Roberts, 12. Ollie Dodge, 11. James Hinkins, 10. Jake Sharp, 9. Darryl Veenendaal, 1. Dan Seal, 2. Chris Locke, 3. Sam Walsh, 4. Ben Gulliver, 5. Mike Howard, 6. Sacha Harding, 7. Darren Fox, 8. Nick Fenton-Wells.

Replacements: 16. Paul Tupai, 17. Simon Lincoln, 18. Matt Allen, 19. Liam Lancaster, 20. TBC, 21. TBC, 22. TBC.

Skippy’s Invitational XV: 15. Emyr Lewis, 14. Mark Kohler, 13. Andrew Llewellyn, 12. James Shanahan, 11. Lee Anker, 10. Ian Vass, 9. Georgia Gulliver, 1. James Ross, 2. Matt Price, 3. Michael Ormesher, 4. Tyler Hotson, 5. Jon Phillips, 6. Richard Candlin, 7. Laurence White, 8. Don Barrel.

Replacements: 16. Neil Harris, 17. Gavin Denning, 18. Andy Phillips, 19. Jon Wells, 20. Gavin Williams, 21. Paul Rollason, 22. TBC.