The heat is on the Sharks as they push for a Gallagher Premiership play-off place. But Northampton Saints will be fiercely determined to end their losing streak this evening
Northampton v Sale live stream: How to watch from anywhere
Barely have the whoops and hollers died down at Sale than they must go hard again. The Sharks last week won the Premiership Cup – their first silverware since 2006 – but this evening require a bonus-point win at Franklin’s Gardens to stay bang in contention for the Gallagher Premiership play-offs (kick-off 5.30pm). They sit fourth in the table, Bristol breathing down their necks, ahead of this weekend’s final round of matches.
DoR Steve Diamond has rejigged his squad after that final against Harlequins, particularly in the back-line. Rohan Janse van Rensburg shifts to wing in place of Denny Solomona, who had a poor game last week. Simon Hammersley moves to wing to accommodate Luke James at full-back and there’s a return for Manu Tuilagi in midfield.
Faf de Klerk, who scored the clinching try with a short-side scoot from a ruck, starts this time, as does fellow Springbok Coenie Oosthuizen at tighthead. Ben Curry, who hobbled off against Quins, is out for three to six weeks with an ankle injury and is replaced by his brother Tom, the England back-row.
“We’ve got a lot to do. Northampton will be a difficult challenge, they’re a very proud club,” said Diamond. “We’ve just got to execute our opportunities. If we do that and we’re disciplined, the game plan won’t be too detailed. It’s a cup final in itself.”
Northampton have lost 11 of their past 13 matches, and their last six on the bounce at the Gardens. But the East Midlands derby defeat may have marked a nadir because Saints were vastly improved in their previous outing, the Champions Cup defeat at Exeter. Courtney Lawes carried six times in the first ten minutes at Sandy Park and Saints enjoyed 65% possession in the first half before Chiefs’ power game took its toll.
Eleven of that XV start again tonight, with scrum-half Alex Mitchell, hooker Sam Matavesi, No 8 Shaun Adendorff and wing Taqele Naiyaravoro the four fresh faces.
The latter is a late change, Rory Hutchinson having been ruled out shortly before kick-off because of an ankle injury. Matt Proctor moves from the wing to 13, with Fraser Dingwall switching to inside-centre.
Piers Francis and Ryan Olowofela come onto the bench to provide injury cover, with Jamie Gibson making way as a result.
This is Saints’ last home game of the 2020-21 season and another failure would mean the wretched home losing run would hang over them at the start of the new season in November. That is fuel for their motivation.
Assistant coach Matt Ferguson said: “We’ve got to get rid of this losing streak, we’ve got to get rid of losing at home. We’re just not accepting as a group continuing to not perform there. From that point of view there’s as much riding on (today’s match) as there was on a European quarter-final. My meetings have been about getting that monkey off our back.”
They may draw comfort from one stat weighted heavily in their favour: Sale have won just once at Franklin’s Gardens since 2006 – 34-25 in March 2018.
In the reverse fixture last December, Saints got sucked into an arm wrestle they didn’t want and went down 22-10. The defeat knocked them off the top of the table and, in some ways, triggered the slide that sees them now in seventh place. Watch highlights of that match here.
Northampton: George Furbank; Ahsee Tuala, Matt Proctor, Fraser Dingwall, Taqele Naiyaravoro; Dan Biggar, Alex Mitchell; Manny Iyogun, Sam Matavesi, Owen Franks, David Ribbans, Api Ratuniyarawa, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam (capt), Shaun Adendorff.
Replacements: 16 James Fish, 17 Alex Seville, 18 Ehren Painter, 19 Nick Isiekwe, 20 Teimana Harrison, 21 Henry Taylor, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Ryan Olowofela.
Sale: Luke James; Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Sam James, Manu Tuilagi, Simon Hammersley; Robert du Preez, Faf de Klerk; Ross Harrison, Curtis Langdon, Coenie Oosthuizen, Cobus Wiese, Jean-Luc du Preez, Jono Ross (capt), Tom Curry, Daniel du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Valery Morozov, 18 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 19 James Phillips, 20 Cameron Nield, 21 Will Cliff, 22 AJ MacGinty, 23 Marland Yarde.
Here’s how to find a reliable live stream for Northampton v Sale wherever you are…
How to watch Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks from outside your country
If you’re abroad, but still want to watch your local Premiership coverage, like Northampton v Sale, 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.
Northampton v Sale live stream: How to watch from the UK
Northampton v Sale, which kicks off at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 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 are showing every Premiership match played behind closed doors live and will also be covering the European Champions and Challenge Cup knockout stages, including the two Anglo-French finals in October. Plus, you can cancel at any time because there’s no contract.
If you’re from the UK but are overseas when Northampton v Sale takes place, you can get your normal live stream but you’ll need a VPN – see the information above.
Northampton v Sale live stream: How to watch from Europe
If you’re in Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you can watch Northampton v Sale (kick-off 6.30pm) through the live and on-demand streaming service DAZN.
Northampton v Sale live stream: How to watch from Australia
For those in Australia, Fox Sports have the rights to show Premiership matches and you can watch Northampton v Sale at 2.30am (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.
Northampton v Sale 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 Northampton v Sale from the Land of the Long White Cloud, the match kicks off at 4.30am 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.
Northampton v Sale 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, such as Faf de Klerk, Coenie Oosthuizen and the du Preez brothers, SuperSport shows matches in South Africa.
South Africa is one hour ahead of the UK, so Northampton v Sale kicks off at 6.30pm on SuperSport Rugby and SuperSport Grandstand. There are various DStv packages available that give access to SuperSport, ranging from Access, which has the Blitz and Variety 4 channels, to Premium, which includes all 18 sports channels.
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