Cardiff Blues have announced a pre-season friendly against Bedford Blues on Saturday 14th September ahead of the 2019/20 season starting at the end of September.
The game will take place at Goldington Road, the home of the Greene King Championship side, as they prepare to get their season underway with the Championship Cup the following weekend.
It will be Blues v Blues for the first time as Bedford haven’t featured in European competition since the turn of the century, having played in either National One or the Championship in that time, and avoided the Premiership Select XV in the British and Irish Cup.
However there is a strong link between the teams as Bedford Director of Rugby Mike Rayer is a Cardiff RFC legend, having made 384 appearances in two spells between 1984 and 2001.
He has led the English side to back-to-back third place finishes in the Championship over the last two seasons, and will be looking to repeat a similar feat this coming season.
Speaking to the Cardiff Blues official website, head coach John Mulvihill said, “It is great to be back in for pre-season training and the boys have returned in really good shape, which is testament to them.“The hard work is well underway and we’re looking forward to getting stuck into the Celtic Cup programme and our pre-season friendlies.
“Bedford will provide us with a solid test early on and the opportunity to try some new combinations and options both attack and defence. Travelling away from the Arms Park will also give us an opportunity to trial new match-day preparations in order to get our away from home record started.
“They are one of the leading teams in the Championship and did really well to finish third last year when you consider the quality of London Irish and Ealing Trailfinders.
“There is also a nice link with Mike Rayer, who is remembered so fondly at the Arms Park, director of rugby up there and I’m sure there will be a good travelling contingent from the region.”