Titans seek new blood to fill Bedford void

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ROTHERHAM Titans are lining up potential replacements for Joe Bedford following the captain’s decision to quit the club at the end of the season.

The 27-year-old scrum-half, who returned to the club last summer from Leeds, has confirmed he will leave in the summer after turning down a new contract offer to stay at Clifton Lane.

Titans director Alan McHale has thanked Bedford for his contribution and says the club are in the process of finalising their transfer targets.

He told The Star: “Joe wants to go on and play in the Premiership and, at 27, he has not gone many years to get there. He is an extremely good player and held in high regard by everyone here.

“But this has happened before with people like David Strettle and Henri Fourie so we have to move on.

“Andre Bester (Titans coach) has been working very hard to rebuild the squad. He has got his own ideas and discussions started at the beginning of the month. We are already at an advanced stage compared to previous seasons.”

On Bedford’s impending departure, South African Bester added: “We have to consider what we can both afford and mutually we are in a position where it’s best for both parties to say it’s time to move on.”

Like Bedford, Jonny Hepworth is also heading for the exit door and the centre has agreed a two-year deal at Featherstone Rovers.

However, six Titans players have penned new contracts, including highly-rated front-row duo Rob O’Donnell and Ben Harris. Matt Rhodes, Sean Dougall, Cliffie Hodgson and Dan Baines have also committed their futures.

The Titans host Bedford Blues in the Championship Play-offs today, kick-off 3pm.