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Home > News > Blues all set for the visit of rejuvenated Leeds
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Your News Blues all set for the visit of rejuvenated Leeds

Bedford Blues return to home action this weekend when they welcome former Premiership side Leeds to Goldington Road.

2008/9 was the last time that the two sides met in the old National Division One and that season finished with Leeds being promoted back to the top flight. During that campaign the Yorkshire side won 19-8 at Headingley, but they tasted defeat on the visit to Bedford as the Blues ran in four tries - including a memorable effort from winger Ryan Owen that started on Bedford's five metre line - to win 27-24.

Leeds made a rocky start to the Championship before picking up an impressive win over Bristol only to be humbled at Cornish Pirates the following week, but in recent weeks they have picked up important wins over London Scottish, Moseley and Plymouth to move into eighth place in the league.

Bedford currently sit third in the Championship having won their opening three games before losing to both Rotherham and Bristol. Since then Bedford have embarked on a four game unbeaten run, but they did draw 18 all with Doncaster in the last home game.

Looking ahead to the game Blues backs coach Paul Larkin said: "We welcome Leeds who come to us on the back of three positive performances but we feel that we are in a good position to match them following an excellent performance of our own down at London Scottish.

"We believe that this is a game that will be played with plenty of width as Leeds are very positive in their intent, but if we bring the intensity and relentless pressure that we have demonstrated in recent weeks then we should get the result that we are looking for."

Bedford make a number of changes to the team that started against London Scottish last weekend. Neil Cochrane misses out with a calf injury while Brendan Burke is given time to recuperate from a knock he picked up against the Exiles. Chris Locke gets the nod at hooker while Tom Bedford returns at 12 and Ollie Dodge reverts to 13. Up front, Sam Pailor comes in at lock alongside Mike Howard while Sean Tomes moves to the bench where he is joined by dual registered hooker Harry Allen, Phil Boulton who returns from suspension and Handre Schmidt who was rested last weekend.

Starting line-up:

15. James Pritchard (c)

14. David Vincent

13. Ollie Dodge

12. Tom Bedford

11. Josh Bassett

10. Jake Sharp

9. Darryl Veenendaal

1. Sam Walsh

2. Chris Locke

3. Dan Seal

4. Sam Pailor

5. Mike Howard

6. Alex Rae

7. Sacha Harding

8. Don Barrell

Replacements: 16. Harry Allen, 17. Phil Boulton, 18. Sean Tomes , 19. Paul Tupai, 20. Stefan Liebenberg, 21. Jamie Lennard, 22. Handre Schmidt.

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