Bedford Blues have released three pre-season fixtures ahead of the upcoming 2018/19 Championship term, including a tantalising match against the reigning Premiership champions Saracens.
With the players all set to return to pre-season training on Monday, the Blues confirmed this week that a mouth-watering encounter against Premiership champions Saracens will take place on Saturday, August 18, at 3pm.
The friendly clash against the Sarries will be the meat in the sandwich of games, which also includes a trip to Plymouth on Friday, August 10, to take on Kieran Hallet’s Albion before Bishop’s Stortford make a visit to Goldington Road on Friday, August 24.
Looking ahead to the three fixtures, Blues’ director of rugby Mike Rayer told the club’s official website: “It is great to be able to arrange three very competitive fixtures to carry us into the coming season.
“We want to make sure that the lads get some really tough tests so we can see how well they come together in the run up to those fixtures.
“Plymouth had a really good season, finishing in the top three, and I’m sure they will be pushing the top of the National One table again.
“We had a great outing against Plymouth last year and I’m sure we’ll get a lot out of the challenge that Albion will bring on their own patch.
“Welcoming the Premiership champions to Goldington Road is always a huge honour and a huge challenge.
“Taking on one of the biggest teams in Europe can be a daunting task.
“But we’ve always given a good account of ourselves here at Goldington Road and it’s a wonderful opportunity for the players and the town to welcome such a brilliant organisation to our home.”
Rayer added: “Our final game against Bishop’s Stortford will certainly be an interesting one.
“They are a really good club who have grown under their coach Andy Long and we have developed a very good relationship with them.
“There is a lot of energy and experience in the squad and I’m sure they will want to put in a big performance against us on our own pitch.”
Tickets for the Blues’ home games against Saracens and Bishop’s Stortford will be available shortly and for more information, visit the Blues website at www.bedfordrugby.co.uk.