Bedford Blues have announced three new signings inside 24 hours in a bid to boost their squad ahead of the upcoming Greene King IPA Championship beginning in March.
Elijah Niko is the latest signing confirmed, as the giant centre joins from Ealing Trailfinders, along with fellow back Andre Robson and prop, Corrie Barrett at Goldington Road.
Niko, who has experience across both codes and three different countries, has joined from fellow Championship heavyweights, Ealing Trailfinders.
The Wellington born centre has experience at the very top level in France’s Pro 14 as well as for the Australian Barbarians and the Australian Sevens side.
A short but scintillating spell at Yorkshire Carnegie earned him a move to Ealing, but Mike Rayer has snapped up the chance to sign the experienced centre:
“When the opportunity arose to sign Eli we pretty much jumped at the chance. He has impressed us when he has played against us.”
“In fact he caused us no end of problems with his destructive ball carrying and finishing. He’s going to be a real fans favourite, I’m pretty convinced of this.”
Niko joins fellow centre Andre Robson on the books at Goldington Road, with the 20-year old hot prospect joining from the Yorkshire Academy.
The signing is one for the future for the Blues, with Mike Rayer labeling the youngster as “a real project”, while also praising Robson’s attitude and a “real thirst to learn and grow”.
Bedford’s third signing comes in the form of Irish prop, Corrie Barrett – another young player who joins from Munster ‘A’ side.
Barrett replaces Alex Penny, the 32-year old announcing his retirement from rugby yesterday after 62 appearances for Bedford Blues, with three tries scored along the way.
The new faces will bring a fresh feel to the squad as the Blues open up their Greene King IPA Championship campaign at Coventry on the weekend of 6th March, before hosting Hartpury the following week.
Bedford Blues’ full fixture list can be found here.