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British & Irish Lions
Bedford Blues have reason to be proud
ESPN Staff
June 21, 2013

Championship side Bedford Blues will surely have a close eye on the British & Irish Lions' first Test showdown with Australia on Saturday having played a key role in the development of players from both sides.

Lions props Dan Cole and Mako Vunipola, hooker Tom Youngs, fly-half Owen Farrell and recent replacement Billy Twelvetrees have all featured in Bedford colours on their way to the pinnacle of northern hemisphere rugby - and so has Australia prop Ben Alexander.

The Wallabies' loose-head was handed a career lifeline by the Blues in 2005 after a horrific leg injury and subsequent aneurysm in his lungs threatened not only his career but his life. A British passport, courtesy of his mother, enabled the teenage Alexander to re-build his career in English rugby's second tier. "I'm grateful for the time I had in England," he told The Rugby Paper earlier this year. "I've never forgotten the lessons I learned."

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