Bedford Blues have announced the signing of three forwards as their new look squad for the 2021/22 season takes place.
With no relegation from the Championship announced by the RFU last week, a new dynamic has been added to the Rugby Championship, and while the Blues lost some forwards due to retirement, they haven’t waited long to replace them.
28-year old, Alex Woolford, is the latest signing to be announced by the Goldington Road outfit, the experienced second row joining from Coventry with a little under 50 Championship caps to his name.
Woolford said: “I’m delighted to be joining such a prestigious club as Bedford Blues.”
“After speaking to Mike and a few of the guys already in the squad or those who have played here previously, it was a no brainer to move to Goldington Road.”
Alex Rae, the forwards coach for the Blues, added: “Alex comes to us with plenty of experience under his belt and is a proven performer in the Championship.”
“He is an athletic, hard working lock who gets around the field and has great ability around the lineout.”
Joining Woolford in the forwards ranks are Bailey Ransom, the flanker who joins from Newcastle Falcons, alongside prop Josh Pieterse who has signed from Ealing Trailfinders.
Pieterse is no stranger to Bedford having developed in the Blues Academy before joining the Trailfinders in capital city, following a spell up north at Doncaster Knights.
Pieterse said: “It’s crazy to think I’m going full circle in returning to Bedford having been in the Academy set-up eight years ago.”
“I’m really excited; Bedford is a club that is attached to its roots and still has a real traditional feel around Goldington Road.”
Ransom meanwhile is a former England Students player, having made a single appearance for the Falcons last year, against Cardiff Blues in the European Challenge Cup.
“Friends and coaches that I’ve spoken to have all said that Bedford is a great place to come to so I’m really excited”, said Ransom upon his arrival at Goldington Road.
“I had quite a few chats with [former hooker] Robbie Smith who was with me at Falcons this past year and everything he said about the environment and the style of play seemed to be the perfect fit.”
With all the new signings quoting the impressive culture at Bedford upon signing, Mike Rayer will be hoping to add to an already strong squad heading into the new season.
The dates for the new season have yet to be announced, following Saracens dominant play-off victory against Ealing secured them an immediate return to the Premiership last season.