Saints' Premiership opener at Sale Sharks is postponed

The AJ Bell StadiumThe AJ Bell Stadium
The AJ Bell Stadium
Saints' Gallagher Premiership clash with Sale Sharks has been postponed as a mark of respect following the death of Her Majesty the Queen.

Saints were due to face the Sharks in the Gallagher Premiership season opener at the AJ Bell Stadium tonight (kick-off 7.45pm).

But after a morning of discussions, which even lasted into the afternoon, the decision was taken to reschedule the match.

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A Saints statement read: "The thoughts and deepest condolences of everyone at Northampton Saints remain with the Royal Family, following yesterday’s announcement of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

"The Club shares in the sorrow of those across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth who are today mourning Her Majesty The Queen and celebrating her immeasurable contribution to public life, including sport.

"Last night’s Premiership Rugby Cup fixture against Saracens was postponed as a mark of respect in the immediate aftermath of the announcement from Buckingham Palace.

"The Club have now been informed that, following a consultation between Premiership Rugby and DCMS, our opening Premiership fixture against Sale Sharks this evening has also been postponed.

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"Supporters should not travel to Salford, and Sale Sharks will provide more information to ticket holders regarding the rescheduling of this fixture as soon as possible.

"All flags at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens will remain at half-mast throughout the ten-day national mourning period."

Bristol Bears were due to host Bath tonight, but their game has been pushed back a day, while the rest of the Premiership matches, taking place on Saturday and Sunday, will go ahead as scheduled.

A Premiership Rugby 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.

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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."

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