Bedford name squad to face OAs

Bedford Blues will be handing starting jerseys to no fewer than nine new players as they head into their first pre-season friendly clash against Old Albanians at Goldington Road tomorrow night (KO 7.45pm).

Fullback Jim Wigglesworth, centre Steven Ellis, winger Dean Adamson, fly half Steffan Jones and scrum half Peter White all start in the backs while props Camilo Parilli-Ocampo and James Currie join back rowers Kennet O’Neil and Josh Buggea in the pack. The Blues will be captained by seasoned campaigner Paul Tupai who is joined in the second row with Mike Howard.

Looking ahead to the opening pre-season fixture, Blues’ director of rugby Mike Rayer said: “The whole squad are really looking forward to Friday night especially the debutants. The exciting part is that this is pretty much a new era for all of us. There has been a lot of change in personnel on and off the field and now we get the chance to have a look at the work we have done over pre season exactly where it counts, on the field.

“These next two weeks will see us give the whole squad an opportunity to impress and put a marker down. It is vital that we start the Championship well this season so these games are vital in our attempts to gel quickly and establish some cohesion. It would be great to see a decent crowd in Friday night and at these entrance prices it promises to be a real good evening out”

Tickets for the game cost just £5 for adults with free entry for anyone under 18. Seats in the Eagle Stand are available on a first come first serve basis and at no extra cost.

Starting line-up:

15. Jim Wigglesworth

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14. Pat Tapley

13. Mike Le Bourgeois

12. Steven Ellis

11. Dean Adamson

10. Steffan Jones

9. Peter White

1. Camillo Parilli-Ocampo

2. Charlie Clare

3. James Currie

4. Paul Tupai

5. Mike Howard

6. Kennet O’Neil

7. Josh Buggea

8. Joe Vandermolen

Replacements:Tom Williams (prop), TJ Harris (hooker), Jack Culverhouse (prop), Justin Blanchet (back row), Nick Fenton-Wells (back row), Kieran Duffin (scrum half), Ollie Dodge (centre/wing), Henry Staff (centre), James Pritchard (fullback/wing).