Easter weekend kicks off with special Blues fixture against the British Army

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Pat Tapley against the British Army in the Mobbs Memorial Match in April 2023
Pat Tapley returns to captain the side in his testamonial year Image: Bedford Blues

Mike Rayer has named a special 26-man squad for the annual Bedford Blues fixture against the British Army which takes place under the floodlights at Goldington Road on Thursday night.

Always a special occasion in the Blues calendar, the annual Army fixture raises money for charity and gives an opportunity for Mike Rayer to get some mileage in the legs of his squad players as crunch time arrives in the Championship.

The fixture takes on a different form this year, as it’s previously been known as the ‘Mobbs Memorial Match’.

In memory of Lt Colonel Edgar Robert Mobbs, who was born in Northampton in 1882 and killed in action at Passchendaele in 1917, the memorial game has now moved to the usual pre-season fixture between the Blues and Northampton Saints.

However, this annual fixture remains a highlight of the Goldington Road season.

Read: Bedford Blues beat the Army in annual Mobbs Memorial match

The British Army side has a host of players with Premiership and Championship experience and always prove a test as they step up preparations for their own big game against The Navy at Twickenham in May.

On the pitch, Joe Howard makes a welcome return at number eight after a month long lay-off with a hamstring injury, while Olney’s Tommy Herman makes a special appearance in the front row between Blues regulars, Jamie Jack and Oisin Heffernan.

This fixture is included in the Blues’ season ticket package, and all other tickets can be purchased here or directly from the turnstiles at Goldington Road with kick off at 19:45.

Bedford Blues Starting XV:

15. Ewan Baker, 14. Pat Tapley (C), 13. Matt Worley, 12. Jack Howells, 11. Toby Cousins, 10. Matty Arden, 9. James Lennon; 1. Jamie Jack, 2. Tommy Herman, 3. Oisin Heffernan, 4. Robin Williams, 5. Jordan Onojaife, 6. Jac Arthur, 7. Kieran Curran, 8. Joe Howard

Bedford Blues Replacements:

16. Isaac Bell, 17. Joey Conway, 18. Bryan O’Connor, 19. Emeka Atuanya, 20. Geordie Irvine, 21. Alex Day, 22. Will Maisey, 23. Jake Metcalfe, 24. Ryan Apps, 25. Cameron King, 26. Alex Woolford