Blues travel to Nottingham seeking surge on Championship second place

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Matt Worley and Dean Adamson in action for Bedford Blues against Nottingham in Dec 2023
Matt Worley switches to the right wing for Friday night Image: Claire Jones

Bedford Blues are back in action this weekend in one of a quartet of Friday night fixtures in the Championship which could have a huge saying on the final league table come the end of May.

Mike Rayer’s side travel to Nottingham looking to build on back-to-back league victories and keep up the pursuit of second place in the Championship; a continually tight affair with Ealing still ten points clear at the top despite a shock defeat to Ampthill last weekend.

The reverse fixture at Goldington Road in December was an engrossing clash, with Bedford Blues running in seven tries in a 49-24 victory that continued their fine form before Christmas.

Read: Seven try Blues fly past Nottingham in Goldington Road clash

That game also featured four yellow cards, another aspect of what is usually an entertaining, free-flowing affair between the two sides but the Blues will hope they can discover their attacking best to counter a dangerous Nottingham threat at Lady Bay.

They do however have an excellent record against Craig Hammond’s men having won six of the last seven encounters and with only one free week between now and the closing fixture on 25th May, Mike Rayer will hope for some momentum with the likes of Coventry, Doncaster and Ealing still to play.

Four changes from Caldy

Mike Rayer makes four changes from the side that beat Caldy 27-14 a fortnight ago.

The most notable omission is Seán French; the Blues’ leading Championship try scorer has not recovered from a minor injury in time to make the 23-man squad, so Matt Worley fills in on the right wing in the Irishman’s absence.

Michael Le Bourgeois moves to the vacant full back position with Jamie Elliott coming in to outside centre alongside Joel Matavesi who retains his place in the 12 jersey.

Jamie Jack and Oisin Heffernan come in either side of James Fish in the front row as Rayer makes the now familiar switches in the pack, with Jac Arthur completing the changes at flanker.

The game kicks off at 7:45pm at Lady Bay in Nottingham.

You can still buy tickets via Nottingham Rugby’s website here with seats still available on the Bedford Rugby Followers Association coach, at the cost of just £10. You can arrange a seat by calling BRFA’s, Margaret Appleton directly on 01234 354708.

Bedford Blues Starting XV:

15. Michael Le Bourgeois, 14. Matt Worley, 13. Jamie Elliott, 12. Joel Matavesi, 11. Dean Adamson, 10. Will Maisey, 9. Alex Day (C); 1. Jamie Jack, 2. James Fish, 3. Oisin Heffernan, 4. Emeka Atuanya, 5. Alex Woolford, 6. Luke Frost, 7. Jac Arthur, 8. Cameron King

Bedford Blues Replacements:

16. Jacob Fields, 17. Joey Conway, 18. Bryan O’Connor, 19. Robin Williams, 20. Joe Howard, 21. Henry Pollock, 22. James Lennon, 23. Louis Grimoldby