Preview: Blues all set for trip to the capital to face London Welsh

First for sport
First for sport

Bedford Blues head to the capital on Saturday lunchtime to renew hostilities with old foes London Welsh in Round Four of the Greene King IPA Championship.

Many people could be forgiven for thinking that the big Anglo-Welsh clash was taking place at Twickenham on Saturday night, but there will be just as much pride and passion on display at Old Deer Park as the Blues prepare to face the Exiles at their spiritual home.

Clashes between the two are always entertaining affairs, with London Welsh picking up a 29-11 victory the last time the two met. Prior to that, the Blues secured a 28-26 win in November 2013, becoming the first team to beat the Exiles following their relegation from the Premiership that season.

Looking ahead to the game, Blues backs coach Paul Larkin said: “While we were disappointed to lose at London Scottish last time out, the lads have all responded superbly in training and are looking to put in another good performance this weekend.

“London Welsh have started the season strongly as you would expect from a team that’s had as much Premiership experience as they have over the last few years.

“Travelling to Bristol, London Scottish and now London Welsh means it has been a challenging month to say the least. However, we want to finish this block in positive fashion and give our great travelling support plenty to cheer about.”

Bedford are without Harry Wells this weekend after he suffered an ankle sprain. Justin Blanchet comes in to replace him at blindside flanker while Mike Howard will pair Paul Tupai in the second row with Mark Flanagan moving to the bench.

Henry Staff gets the nod at centre while George Perkins returns to take a place on the wing.

The Blues replacements include a debut for hooker, and former London Welsh player, Nathan Vella while Alex Lundberg also pulls on a Blues jersey for the first time.

Elsewhere, Tom Williams and Dean Adamson will both be involved with Ampthill this weekend when they take on Henley at Dillingham Park.

Starting line-up:

15. Piers O’Conor

14. Pat Tapley

13. Henry Staff

12. Michael Le Bourgeois

11. George Perkins

10. Myles Dorrian

9. Jordan Burns

1. Camilo Parilli-Ocampo

2. Charlie Clare

3. James Currie

4. Paul Tupai

5. Mike Howard

6. Justin Blanchet

7. Josh Buggea

8. Nick Fenton-Wells (c)

Replacements:

16. Nathan Vella

17. Alex Lundberg

18. Mark Flanagan

19. Hayden Thompson-Stringer

20. Henry Taylor

21. Jake Sharp

22. Steffan Jones