Edwards prepares for big test of credentials

Diccon Edwards will hope to utilise a little insider knowledge tomorrow to mastermind a win which could take his Leeds Carnegie side as high as second spot.

They seek a fourth successive Championship victory when Bedford Blues arrive at Otley in the latest ‘On the Road’ fixture.

Their opponents sit just above Leeds in third place and are in rich form themselves, even recently pushing runaway leaders Newcastle Falcons close.

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Edwards is an admirer and said: “For many years now, Bedford have been one of the top teams in the Championship.

“They play with a style that is both attractive to watch and effective in getting results.

“I recently had the pleasure of working alongside Mike Rayer with the Championship XV and it was great to share our thoughts on the game and learn about his philosophies. I am sure we are in for an entertaining clash and know we will have to perform very well to win.”

Leeds know, though, they must improve significantly on last week’s attritional win at Rotherham Titans if they are to prosper.

“We have recognised that it was far from our best performance of the season,” admitted Edwards.

“However, importantly we managed to win a game when we did not perform well and we dug in for one another and got the result.

“They were unbeaten at home, so the size of the task should not be under-estimated.

“We weathered that storm, defended well and were clinical with our chances.”

Edwards must make changes as flanker Dan Hemingway (knee) has been ruled out for three months and lock Mike Myerscough (foot) requires a trip to a specialist next week.

Back-row Dominic Barrow is recalled from his loan spell at Wharfedale to earn a rare opportunity.

Rotherham Titans begin life under new coach Alex Codling at Moseley this lunchtime.

Blind-side Latu Makaafi and No 8 Rory Pitman both return from lengthy injuries while centre Pale Nonu and tight-head Ross Davies are recalled with hooker Harry Hannan on the bench after signing from Leeds.

“We will have to be super-disciplined and control the ball better than we did in the second 
half against Leeds,” admitted Codling.