Bedford are gearing up for another huge challenge this weekend as they head to the Madejski Stadium to take on London Irish in Round Four of the Greene King IPA Championship.
Despite a narrow defeat to Coventry last Saturday, Mike Rayer’s men showed plenty of grit and determination to take two bonus points having slipped to 29-7 deficit within the first 40 minutes and they’ll be hoping to show just as much passion this Sunday against the former Premiership side.
Speaking ahead of the game, Blues backs coach Paul Larkin said: “We were extremely disappointed with the result last weekend as we made some silly errors and allowed Coventry to get too far ahead.
“The boys rallied, dug deep and almost snatched it at the end, but things shouldn’t have gotten to that stage.
“London Irish pose another huge challenge this weekend and we can’t make the same mistakes again as we’ll get punished.
“The lads have responded really well in training and the fight for a starting jersey has been really intense but we need to see that transferred on to the pitch.”
There are plenty of changes for the Blues this weekend with Harry Davies getting his first start as Dean Adamson is ruled out with an eye injury sustained during the game at Coventry.
Lewis Robling has also recovered from a thigh injury to start in the centre while James Lennon starts in the number nine shirt.
There’s a new front row this week with Camilo Parilli-Ocampo, Jacob Fields and Ben Cooper getting the nod while Ed Taylor captain’s the team from the second row.
The final swap sees Josh Buggea starting on the openside while Jack Nay takes a place on the bench.
On the injury front, Chris Czekaj (calf) is only a week away from a return as is Mark Flanagan (calf and back).
Pat Tapley has undergone an operation on his eye socket while Harry Sheppard will be out of action for a few more weeks with ankle ligament issues.
Finally, Will Hooley and Justin Blanchet are both going through the concussion protocol and hope to be back in action soon.
15. Rich Lane
14. Harry Davies
13. Jamie Elliott
12. Lewis Robling
11. Ryan Hutler
10. Ed Coulson
9. James Lennon
1. Camilo Parilli-Ocampo
2. Jacob Fields
3. Ben Cooper
4. Ed Taylor (c)
5. Oli Curry
6. Alex Rae
7. Josh Buggea
8. Jarad Williams
16. Charlie Clare
17. Sean McCarthy
18. Alex Penny
19. Will Carrick-Smith
20. Jack Nay
21. Lee Dickson
22. Joe Green