Championship success sufficient motivation for Bedford

Bedford and Bristol

Bedford Blues do not need the prospect of Premiership rugby to motivate them in the Championship play-offs, according to boss Mike Rayer.

Blues face London Welsh in a two-legged semi-final knowing they cannot be promoted because their ground does not meet Premiership standards.

"We're an ultra-competitive group and for us the carrot is silverware," Rayer told BBC Sport.

"The fact we can't go up doesn't stop us being fully committed."

The former Wales international said he failed to understand why some people had what he described as 'a 'hang-up' about the issue.

He added: "The players at this club are here for the right reasons, which are rugby reasons.

"They enjoy the club, they enjoy playing in front of 3,000 adoring fans and rubbing shoulders with them afterwards, perhaps even sharing a beer with them."

Rayer said in some respects the position lifted the pressure on the players.

"People say it means they feel more able to express themselves, but to be honest that's always been my philosophy anyway, as a player and as a coach," said Rayer. "You have to enjoy what you're doing, or what's the point?

"After coming so close last season we're absolutely determined to lift a trophy this time round."

Last season, Rayer lead Bedford to a and the British & Irish Cup final.

The first leg of this season's semi-final will be played at Bedford's Goldington Road ground on Friday, 4 May, with the return at London Welsh's Old Deer Park on Sunday, 13 May.

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