Blues re-sign influential quartet as preparations continue for next season

Bedford Blues news
Bedford Blues news

Bedford Blues’ recruitment for the 2016/17 season has continued with the re-signings of Dean Adamson, Michael Le Bourgeois, Mike Howard and Paul Tupai.

Adamson, 22, has been in fantastic form this season having run in 16 tries which included a hat-trick against Cornish Pirates last weekend.

The speedster joined Bedford Blues at the beginning of the 2014/15 campaign following a successful period at Ampthill Rugby Club which saw him notch up an impressive 22 tries in National Two South.

The Bedford boy, who came through the Blues Academy, has truly seized his opportunity with both hands and proven what a special talent he is.

Le Bourgeois, 25, became a member of the Bedford Blues squad in 2013 having moved from Jersey.

Starting his rugby career in the Jersey Academy in 2008, Booj as he is known, signed for Jersey in 2011 and became the first Jersey Academy graduate and Jersey born player to sign a professional contract with the club.

Comfortable at playing in the centre, fly-half, on the wing and at full-back, Le Bourgeois provides plenty of versatility and skill to the Bedford Blues squad.

Howard, 30, joined Bedford Blues in 2008 after impressing during a two-month trial period in pre-season.

The powerful lock, who previously played for Diss RFC for four years, made the move to Bedford from Norfolk side North Walsham and has remained here ever since. Standing at 6ft 4, Howard is an essential part of the Blues engine room and a great asset to the squad.

Tupai, 41, shows no sign of slowing down as he prepares for his 24th season in professional rugby.

The number 8, who can also play in the second row, joined the Blues in 2008 from Northampton Saints where he made 32 Premiership starts. Before the Saints, Tupai spent his time in New Zealand playing for Bay of Plenty, where he made over 100 appearances and lifted the Ranfurly Shield with them in 2004.

Standing at 6ft4 and weighing in at 113kg, the Samoan international, who turns 42 in September, has been a role model for many players while also adding plenty of power and experience to the Blues pack.

Speaking about the re-signings, Blues director of rugby Mike Rayer said: “I’m delighted to have four more key players signed up for the next campaign. Everyone has seen the improvement on the field this season and it is important that we continue the hard work by securing the spine of the team.

“Dean has had a cracking season and has really progressed throughout the campaign. There is plenty more to see from him and I think that everyone will be looking forward to seeing it.

“Booj has also been instrumental in our success and he has thoroughly established himself as a key player within the squad. He’s grown massively as an individual and as a leader on the field and I’m sure that he’ll be taking on even more responsibilities in the future.

“One of the big improvements this year has been our scrum so I’m very pleased that Mike will return to the second row and continue his hard work at Goldington Road.

“He’ll be joined once more by Toops who is an extraordinary athlete. When most professional players would have been retired for several years, Paul is committed to yet another campaign and I have no doubt that he will play a huge role both on and off the pitch during the 2016/17 season.”

The quartet join new signings Tom James, Jacob Fields and Will Carrick-Smith for the 2016/17 season along with Justin Blanchet, Pat Tapley, Ollie Dodge, Sam James, Josh Buggea and Jordan Burns who have all signed new deals while Myles Dorrian and Nick Fenton-Wells head into the second year of their contracts.