Bedford and Titans to part company

SKIPPER Joe Bedford is to leave Clifton Lane.

The shock news on the eve of today's play-off opener comes after the 27-year-old failed to return a contract offer for next season with the parting having been made by mutual consent.

Bedford still has an ambition to return to the Premiership which is one reason why he stalled on signing a new deal, while Rotherham say they have to finalise next year’s squad and will stick rigidly to their principles regarding deadlines.

The scrum half, who returned to the club last summer from Leeds, is now free to pursue a move while Bester continues his work to shapren up his squad for a promotion crack in 2012, presuming that they don’t pull off a massive shock this time around.

Said Bester: “Because of the cicumstances we’ve come to a mutual agreement that Joe won’t be at the club next year."

Titans are at home to Bedford Blues this afternoon in their opening play-off game. Kick off is 3pm.