Bedford Blues preparations for the semi-finals of the Championship play offs against London Welsh have been buoyed by the news that five more players have agreed contract extensions with the club.
Following a hugely successful season which could still get better, Director of Rugby Mike Rayer has handed deals to winger Ollie Dodge, hookers Neil Cochrane and Chris Locke, number eight Don Barrell and centre Henry Staff.
After joining the Blues on loan from Leicester in 2006, 24-year-old Dodge has enjoyed huge success with the club and signed on permanently two years later. The former England Under-19 and Under-20 international who can also play at centre, has scored five tries this season and has agreed a two year deal.
28-year-old Neil Cochrane, who joined Bedford last year after spending three years with Doncaster Knights, has agreed a new 12 month deal following his first full season playing at hooker. The former Scotland Under-21 international is a hard-hitting forward with pace and power who has smoothly made the switch from flanker.
Former Northampton Saints Academy hooker Locke, 22, who has thoroughly enjoyed battling Cochrane for the number two shirt this season, is set to continue that fight for another year. The youngster has come on leaps-and-bounds this season picking up five tries along the way including the fourth last weekend against Rotherham.
Watford born Barrell, who can play across the back row, signed for Bedford from Saracens last summer having spent ten years with the Premiership Champions. The 26-year-old, who has agreed a year-long extension, has represented England at Under 16 and 18 levels while also playing for the Sevens squad in 2009/10.
Another man who made the move from Saracens last season was 21-year-old Henry Staff who also played for Northampton Saints after leaving Bedford Modern School. The flying centre, who suffered an early season injury, has been in magnificent form since returning to full fitness and has signed a one year deal to remain at Goldington Road.
Pic: l-r Chris Locke, Don Barrell, Henry Staff, Neil Cochrane, Ollie Dodge