Photo: RFU Archive
London Welsh head to Goldington Road on Friday night for the 1st leg of their Championship semi final against Bedford Blues (KO 7.45pm).
The Exiles will be looking to reach the final for the first time, having tasted defeat to Bristol in the 2010 semi and at the hands of the Cornish Pirates last year. And you'll be able to watch the 2nd and deciding leg between Bedford Blues and London Welsh live and exclusively onn RFU.com on May 13.
Bedford, though, edge the head-to-head between the sides this season, with two wins to the Exiles’ one, although all three games have been desperately close.
Welsh lost 22-18 at Goldington Road in September, before the following month losing a thriller, 33-30, to Josh Bassett’s try from the last play of the game in the sides’ British & Irish Cup meeting at Sunbury.
The Exiles got some measure of revenge in the reverse Championship meeting at Old Deer Park, when the home side ran out 25-24 winners in December. The Blues, though, nearly snatched victory with the last kick of the game, only for Jamie Lennard’s drop goal to slip wide.
In all, Welsh have lost on their last four visits Goldington Road in the league and cup. The Exiles have to January 2009 for the last time they tasted victory on Bedford soil when Mark Harris’ late touchline conversion gave Welsh a 33-32 win.
Bedford Blues v London Welsh teams
Bedford Blues: 15. James Pritchard (c); 14. Ollie Dodge, 13. Brendan Burke, 12. Henry Staff, 11. Josh Bassett, 10. Jake Sharp, 9. Luke Baldwin; 1. Ricky Reeves, 2. Chris Locke, 3. Ben Cooper, 4. Paul Tupai, 5. Mike Howard, 6. Alex Rae, 7. Darren Fox, 8. Don Barrell.
Replacements: 16. Neil Cochrane, 17. Sam Walsh, 18. Phil Boulton, 19. Jon Fisher, 20. Sacha Harding, 21. Darryl Veenendaal, 22. Jamie Lennard.
London Welsh: 15. Alex Davies, 14. Joe Ajuwa, 13. James Lewis, 12. Hudson Tonga’uiha*, 11. Nick Scott, 10. Gordon Ross* ©, 9. Rob Lewis, 1. Tom French, 2. Vili Ma’asi*, 3. James Tideswell, 4. Adam Brown, 5. Matt Corker, 6. Lee Beach, 7. Michael Hills, 8. Ed Jackson.
Replacements: 16. Dan George, 17. Shawn Pittman*, 18. Greg Bateman, 19. Gary Johnson, 20. Jon Mills, 21. Jack Moates, 22. Seb Jewell.
*denotes full internationals