Premiership Rugby postpone Friday season openers following death of Queen but weekend matches go ahead


At the very start of the 2022-23 season, there were two matches scheduled on Friday evening (Bristol vs Bath and Sale vs Northampton), which are being rescheduled.

Bristol vs Bath, at Ashton Gate, will now be played at 5.30pm on Saturday. That decision was made possible by the cancellation of all football, meaning Bristol City’s home game against Preston North End is off.

Sale vs Northampton will now take place on Sunday at 3pm. The addition of Bristol vs Bath means that there are now four fixtures on Saturday.

A statement read: “Premiership Rugby is united in paying tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her inspirational life of service and her unparalleled contribution to the United Kingdom.

HM Queen Elizabeth II Sporting Events

The Queen presents Bobby Moore with the World Cup in 1966

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Queen Elizabeth II presents the trophy to British tennis player Virginia Wade after she won the Women’s Singles competition at Wimbledon, 1st July 1977.

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German team captain Jurgen Klinsmann (L) raises the European Championship trophy presented to him by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (C) after his team beat the Czech Republic 2-1 in extra time at Wembley Stadium in London 30 June. At right is German goalkeeper Andreas Kopke.

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David Beckham and Kirsty Howard handing the Queens Jubille Baton to Queen Elizabeth II after it’s final leg around the city of Manchester stadium, at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

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Gary Connery parachuted into the Olympic Stadium dressed as the Queen during the London 2012 opening ceremony (Lewis Whyld/PA)

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British actor Daniel Craig (L) playing James Bond escorting Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II through the corridors of Buckingham Palace, London


Queen Elizabeth II laughs with Jockey Ryan Moore and trainer Sir Michael Stoute after the Queen’s horse Estimate won The Gold Cup on Ladies’ Day during day three of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2013 in Ascot

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The Queen inspects her horse Reach For The Moon (Andrew Matthews/PA)

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“Following consultation with the RFU, DCMS and the PRL Board, Premiership Rugby can confirm that as a mark of respect, the two Gallagher Premiership matches scheduled for today will be postponed. Bristol Bears v Bath Rugby will take place at 5.30pm on Saturday and an update will be given on the Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints as soon as possible.

“The other matches scheduled for Saturday and Sunday will go ahead as scheduled, with Premiership clubs joining with supporters in recognising Queen Elizabeth’s life and service. Prior to the start of each match, a one-minute silent tribute will take place. All players and coaches will be invited to wear black armbands.”

Second-tier Championship matches are due to go ahead on both Friday night and Saturday, with all rugby below the Premiership given the green light to proceed.

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