Bedford Blues trio given new contracts

Mike Howard, Dan Seal and Handre Schmuimidt
Howard, Seal and Schmidt have signed up for the 2011-12 campaign

Bedford Blues have handed one-year deals to Mike Howard, Dan Seal and Handre Schmidt.

Second-rower Howard, 25, has been a first-team regular for director of rugby Mike Rayer this season.

Prop Seal, 31, arrived at Goldington Road in 2009 after spells with fellow Championship sides Cornish Pirates and Birmingham & Solihull.

While South African winger Schmidt, 30, has ran in 21 tries in his debut campaign for the Blues.

Rayer told the club website: "It is fantastic to have agreed new contracts with these lads who have all proven what valuable assets they are to the club.

"It is important for the balance of our team that we keep hold of key players and this crop have certainly proved their worth during their time with us and will continue to do so next season."

Bedford's hopes of reaching the Championship play-off semi-finals took a blow at the weekend with defeat at Cornish Pirates.

The Blues must beat Rotherham at home on Saturday and hope Pirates secure victory over Doncaster to advance to the last four.