Championship season closer sees Blues travel to title-winning Ealing

Image: Fennell Takes Fotos / Bedford Blues / 'X'

19 games down, one to go, Saturday sees the end of another Championship season in the world of rugby union as Bedford Blues travel to champions, Ealing in the capital looking to cement another decent campaign in English rugby’s second tier.

Bedford Blues have already secured fourth spot in the division after a 34-31 victory over London Scottish a fortnight ago, while Coventry’s loss at Cornish Pirates confirmed the title was returning to West London despite Ealing’s own defeat at Doncaster.

Preparations for 2024/25 are already afoot; indeed Ealing themselves have caused a stir by announcing that 23 of their playing squad will be departing at the end of the season so Saturday’s game may well have an air of the leaving party about it.

Kieran Curran, Louis Grimoldby and the retiring Jacob Fields are among six players confirmed to be leaving Goldington Road at the end of the campaign and with both sides having secured their placings this season, Saturday’s game is likely to be an open and exciting affair.

Onojaife starts to bring up ton

Jordan Onojaife, another player retiring at the end of the campaign, has been named in the starting line up for his final game in Blues colours, simultaneously bringing up his 100th cap for Bedford.

Alex Woolford comes in to pack down alongside Onojaife, while Jordan Venter – another name on the list of departures – comes in at inside centre alongside Jamie Elliott with Ewan Baker taking the full back jersey, completing four changes from the London Scottish game.

It feels like a lifetime ago that Bedford Blues’ league season opened with a controversial 41-21 defeat to the eventual champions at Goldington Road in October, but Mike Rayer’s side have proven they can win at the Trailfinders Sports Ground in the past and will hope to do so again.

Read: Blues unlucky in defeat as Ealing kick start title hunt

Tickets at the Trailfinders Sports Ground are still available but the Bedford Rugby Followers Association away supporters coach is sold out.

The game is also available to watch online as the England Rugby YouTube channel are broadcasting the game live from 2.50pm.

Bedford Blues Starting XV:

15. Ewan Baker, 14. Sean French, 13. Jamie Elliott, 12. Jordan Venter, 11. Dean Adamson, 10. Will Maisey, 9. Alex Day (C); 1. Joey Conway, 2. James Fish, 3. Bryan O’Connor, 4. Jordan Onojaife, 5. Alex Woolford, 6. Luke Frost, 7. Joe Howard, 8. Cameron King

Bedford Blues Replacements:

16. Jacob Fields, 17. Jamie Jack, 18. Oisin Heffernan, 19. Robin Williams, 20. Kieran Curran, 21. James Lennon, 22. Louis Grimoldby, 23. Toby Thame