Leeds will look to keep Bedford on back foot

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Leeds Carnegie coach Diccon Edwards believes a win at play-off rivals Bedford this afternoon would throw the play-off race wide open.

Edwards’s side are in form, having won their last four games, and sit fourth in the Championship.

With the top four teams qualifying for the play-offs at the end of the season, Leeds are in a strong position and, with two games remaining, hold a three-point advantage over fifth-placed Bristol.

“Winning at Bedford opens up a lot of possibilities for us,” said Edwards.

“It will continue to build the pressure on Bristol as well as open up the possibility of finishing third.”

Claiming third place would mean Leeds avoiding runaway leaders and hot favourites Newcastle in the semi-finals, but Edwards is not looking too far ahead.

“We’re just looking at Bedford,” he said.

“We’ve looked no further than this weekend so we’ll find out where we’re at after that.”

Bedford ran out 45-25 winners in the reverse fixture in December, and Edwards is all too aware of the attacking threat posed by today’s opponents.

“When you play Bedford it’s about how much you can limit their opportunities with the ball and put them under pressure.

“They’re probably the best team in the competition on the front foot so we’ve got to limit that.

“I’d like to limit them to a few less points than they scored last time, so I would take a 9-6.”

There are three changes to the starting line-up following last week’s win at Moseley. Joe Ford comes in for Rory Clegg at fly-half, while Jacob Rowan and James Currie replace Ryan Burrows and Damien Tussac respectively.

The club are also understood to have signed Moseley fly-half Glyn Hughes for next season.

Edwards, who is also working on contracts to retain players, said of Hughes: “Players of that quality and of that age profile and ability are players that we’re very much interested in bringing to the club.”