Six more sign for Bedford

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The Independent Online
Bedford signed six new players yesterday and then announced plans for four more signings - all of them internationals - as they try to make up for last season's promotion near-miss.

The Leicester scrum-half Aadel Kardooni, Orrell No 8 Peter Anglesea and Worcester outside-half Tony Yaap have joined the ambitious Second Division side along with New Zealanders Simon Crabb, Richard Kirke and Justin Cullen.

Their director of rugby, Geoff Cooke, the former England and Lions manager, stressed that the Midlands club's spending would not stop there. "In a fortnight's time I hope to announce the arrival at Bedford of four more internationals," he said.

Two of them are recent internationals and two of them current, adding to speculation that he is negotiating terms with former England winger Rory Underwood, whose departure from Leicester was recently announced.

"Our aim is to recruit early and to achieve a squad with the sort of strength in depth that we shall need to win Division Two next season," Cooke added.

The money is again being provided by boxing promoter Frank Warren, who believes Bedford will be the team to beat next season after losing to Bristol in the promotion play-offs.

"With these players on board and more to follow, I am confident we will be a League One side this time next year," he said.

The ambitious Cornish club, Penzance-Newlyn, have snapped up Welsh international Kevin Moseley. The Pirates have beaten off a pack of senior clubs to sign the former Pontypool, Newport and West Hartlepool lock on a two-year contract.

The Pirates' player-coach, Mark Ring, a former Welsh international, said: "He's the big one for us. We fought off a couple of English senior clubs and a couple of Welsh ones - Newport and Ebbw Vale - to get him.

"Kevin is 6ft 8in and a fit 18 stone. He has a coaching background too so it's a big gap we've filled."

In Australia 100,000 tickets have already been sold for next April's Bledisloe Cup match between Australia and New Zealand, despite the fact that the game will be played in Melbourne, the country's traditional hot- bed of Australian Rules football. Tickets have been changing hands for more than five times their face value.

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