Tribute to the Queen at Franklin's Gardens
Thursday’s Premiership Rugby Cup match between Northampton and Saracens was postponed

The start of the new Premiership Rugby season has been delayed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Friday’s matches between West Country rivals Bristol and Bath at Ashton Gate and Sale against Northampton have been postponed “as a mark of respect”.

Bristol and Bath will play on Saturday at 17:30 BST while Sale v Northampton will take place at 15:00 on Sunday.

All three games scheduled for Saturday and Wasps’ visit to Gloucester on Sunday will go ahead as planned.

Matches will start with a minute’s silence and players will wear black armbands.

The Rugby Football Union has confirmed that games in lower tiers can also be played – Friday’s Championship games between Cornish Pirates and Richmond and Coventry and Bedford Blues will go ahead as planned.

Clubs can postpone a fixture if they have “connections to the Royal Family or those with large numbers of players in the military or emergency services who will be called away to work on official duties as a result”, provided both sides agree.

As a result of Northampton’s game being moved to Sunday, their following Premiership fixture – at home to London Irish – has been rescheduled for 14:00 on Saturday, 17 September.

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