A suspension has deprived Bristol of their chosen captain at Ashton Gate tonight. But the Bears start as firm favourites against a Saints side struggling for confidence

Bristol v Northampton live stream: How to watch from anywhere

Off we go again! Barely has the dust settled on Gallagher Premiership round 18 than we’re launching into round 19, with Bristol and Northampton squaring up (7.45pm) after their mixed fortunes last Friday night.

Third-placed Bristol, 36-13 winners at Worcester, will need more of the same as they try to ensure they aren’t the team squeezed out in a five-way tussle for a play-off spot. Victory for the Bears tonight at Ashton Gate – where Saints have won on both previous visits – will enable Pat Lam’s men to leapfrog Sale into second place.

Director of Rugby Lam makes eight changes from the side that started at Sixways. Siale Piutau was initially named as captain but pulled out after being given a three-match ban by a disciplinary panel last night. He was cited for punching and will also miss the Premiership match with Wasps and a European Challenge Cup quarter-final against the Dragons.

DID YOU KNOW? These two teams have picked up more yellow cards than anyone else in this season’s Premiership, with Saints (12) one ahead of Bristol (11)

Worcester’s Andrew Kitchener was sent off in the match – by Wayne Barnes, tonight’s TMO – and also copped a three-match ban. But Lam said he was “shocked” that no disciplinary action was taken following an illegal challenge on Bristol centre Semi Radradra.

Lam said: “If he feels that Siale Piutau defending himself as two guys come in at him is a red card and self-defence, and yet feels that the Semi Radradra one with a swinging arm with full contact to the face is not, then the one thing about the process is we can’t do anything about it. Tony Diprose (citing officer) has the only say on it. We have to move on and let it go.”

With Piutau unavailable, Luke Morahan comes into the back three, Piers O’Conor switches to inside-centre and Ioan Lloyd joins the bench. Callum Sheedy takes over the captaincy.

Radradra, who made a best-of-round 17 carries and 197m at Worcester, again starts while Chris Cook is among the replacements and in line for his Bears debut. Scrum-half Harry Randall (knee) and Max Lahiff (concussion) are the latest additions to the injury list.

Bristol v Northampton live stream Semi Radradra

Razzle-dazzle: Semi Radradra makes a break against Worcester at Sixways last Friday (Getty Images)

Northampton arrive in a state of flux, the optimism that accompanied their scintillating early-season form long since dissipated. The offloads that were sticking last autumn are now going to ground and four defeats in five since the resumption has realistically put paid to their hopes of qualifying for the knockout phase.

They are a better side than recent results suggest but will be firm underdogs tonight as DoR Chris Boyd fields a youthful squad. The side, an entirely new XV from that beaten 22-19 by Exeter, includes teenager Tommy Freeman at full-back and a first start for scrum-half Tom James, signed from Doncaster Knights this summer.

Tom Collins is absent having picked up a foot injury last Friday, so wing Josh Gillespie is primed for his league debut off the bench. Senior Academy prospects Karl Garside, Tui Uru and Reuben Bird-Tulloch are also hoping to seize their opportunity in the West Country.

Bristol had a hand in sparking Saints’ league slide this season, coming from behind to win 20-14 at Franklin’s Gardens in February. Tries by Henry Purdy and Lewis Thiede that day enabled Bristol to close the gap on Saints to four points. Fast-forward and Bristol are now 12 points above their visitors. Watch highlights of the sides’ last meeting here…

Bristol: Charles Piutau; Luke Morahan, Semi Radradra, Piers O’Conor, Alapati Leiua; Callum Sheedy (capt), Andy Uren; Jake Woolmore, Harry Thacker, Kyle Sinckler, Dave Attwood, Joe Joyce, Chris Vui, Ben Earl, Nathan Hughes.

Replacements: 16 Will Capon, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Peter McCabe, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Dan Thomas, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Max Malins, 23 Ioan Lloyd.

Northampton: Tommy Freeman; Ryan Olowofela, Fraser Dingwall, Piers Francis, Taqele Naiyaravoro; James Grayson, Tom James; Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, Mikey Haywood, Ehren Painter, Alex Moon, Nick Isiekwe, Jamie Gibson, Lewis Ludlam (capt), Shaun Adendorff.

Replacements: 16 Reece Marshall, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Karl Garside, 19 Lewis Bean, 20 Tui Uru, 21 Henry Taylor, 22 Reuben Bird-Tulloch, 23 Josh Gillespie.

Bristol v Northampton live stream Lewis Ludlam

Young leader: Lewis Ludlam captains a Saints team trying to arrest an untimely slide (Getty Images)

Here we explain how to find a reliable Bristol v Northampton live stream wherever you are.

How to watch Bristol v Northampton from outside your country

If you’re abroad, but still want to watch your local Premiership coverage, like Bristol v Northampton this evening, you can do so by using a VPN – Virtual Private Network.

VPNs allow you to get around any geo-blocking by changing your IP address so you appear in a different location and can watch the same legal Premiership live stream you would at home.

Our friends at TechRadar have tested hundreds of VPN and recommend ExpressVPN, which is easy to use, has strong security features and allows you to watch on several devices at once, including smart TVs and phones, iPads, tablets, PCs and Macs.

Plus, ExpressVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can try it out for a month for free or sign up for an annual plan and get three months free.

Bristol v Northampton live stream: How to watch from the UK

Bristol v Northampton, which kicks off at 7.45pm tonight, will be shown live on BT Sport 1 in the UK. If you don’t have a BT contract but want to watch the match, don’t worry because you can still easily watch it online.

That’s because BT Sport has a contract-free monthly pass that allows you to get instant access to all four of their sport channels for just £25.

That’s great value given they’re showing every Premiership game played behind closed doors live and will also be covering the European Champions and Challenge Cup knockout stages in September and October. Plus, you can cancel at any time because there’s no contract.

Clubs are also working with BT Sport to allow season ticket-holders free access to home games on the channel’s app.

If you’re from the UK but are overseas when Bristol v Northampton takes place, you can get your normal live stream but you’ll need a VPN – see the information above.

Bristol v Northampton live stream: How to watch from Europe

If you’re in Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you can watch Bristol v Northampton (kick-off 8.45pm) through the live and on-demand streaming service DAZN.

Bristol v Northampton live stream: How to watch from the USA

If you live in the States, the official broadcaster of Premiership matches is NBC, with matches streamed on NBC Sports Gold so you can watch them anytime and anywhere.

Bristol v Northampton will kick off at 2.45pm EST and 11.45am on the West Coast.

The NBC Sports Gold Pass for rugby is $79.99 and includes coverage of the Gallagher Premiership, European Champions and Challenge Cups, and Guinness Six Nations.

Bristol v Northampton live stream: How to watch from Australia

For those in Australia, Fox Sports have the rights to show Premiership matches and you can watch Bristol v Northampton from 4.45am on Wednesday morning (AEST).

The Foxtel Sports HD bundle is $74 a month – and you get 50+ other channels as well as Foxtel GO, so you can watch when on the move.

Bristol v Northampton live stream: How to watch from New Zealand

It’s little wonder that Sky Sport NZ, with ten sports channels, including one dedicated to rugby, is the rights-holder for Premiership matches in New Zealand.

If you want to tune in to Bristol v Northampton from the Land of the Long White Cloud, the match kicks off at 6.45am on Wednesday morning on Sky Sport NZ 1.

It costs $31.99 a month to add Sky Sport to your Sky Starter pack ($25.99) but if you sign up for 12 months before 30 September 2020 you’ll get your first month free. Plus, you’ll get Sky Go, which allows you to watch live rugby wherever you are.

Bristol v Northampton live stream: How to watch from South Africa

If you want to keep track of the many South Africans plying their trade in the Premiership, then SuperSport shows matches in South Africa.

South Africa is one hour ahead of the UK, so Bristol v Northampton kicks off at 8.45pm on SuperSport Variety 2.

There are various DStv packages available that give access to SuperSport, ranging from EasyView, with access to Blitz, to Premium, with all ten sports channels.

We recommend VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:

  1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service)
  2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad

We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing. 

Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.