These attack-minded teams have dished up tries galore in recent meetings. Another cracking Premiership encounter is on the cards at the Ricoh Arena this afternoon
Wasps v Bristol live stream: How to watch from anywhere
Two of this year’s form teams clash at the Ricoh Arena for a third time in little more than two months. And Wasps will hope for more of the same in this Gallagher Premiership first-round fixture having racked up 106 points in those other two fixtures. They beat Bristol 59-35 in a September league game and 47-24 in last month’s semi-final.
In fact, Wasps have won their past ten Premiership games against the Bears. They welcome back Brad Shields, Kieran Brookes, Simon McIntyre and Alfie Barbeary for today’s match (1pm) after the quartet missed last season’s final due to Covid contact tracing protocols.
Both sides are without senior players on Test duty. Tim Cardall and James Gaskell comprise Wasps’ second row in the absence of Joe Launchbury and Will Rowlands. And Lima Sopoaga and Ben Vellacott replace Matteo Minozzi and Ben Robson at 15 and nine respectively as the only changes to the back-line that played in the Premiership final defeat by Exeter.
Blindside Jack Willis and fly-half Jacob Umaga return from England duty to take their place in a side captained by Welshman Thomas Young.
Head coach Lee Blackett said: “The boys have had a little bit of time off and they’ve come back and trained extremely well. We’ve been really pleased with the attitude and desire of the players to get better each day since their return.
“The boys needed that time off. It may take a few weeks till we will be at our 100% best, but even with just five main sessions we should hopefully be pretty close come the weekend.
“You look at teams when they’ve got to finals and where they are the following year, they seem to struggle early on. We’ve put a lot of focus back on our confidence and attitude that got us to a final. We will be focused on that from the start.”
Bristol are without 17 players as they try to become only the second team – after Sale – to win at the Ricoh since January. With Callum Sheedy, Max Malins and Ioan Lloyd all away on international duty, Sam Bedlow makes his first start at fly-half in the Premiership, while Piers O’Conor switches to full-back.
Academy fly-half Tom Wilstead, 19, is on the bench and could make his competitive debut for the club. Tongan centre Siale Piutau will captain the side.
Director of rugby Pat Lam said: “For us it’s about moving on to the next moment of inspiration – what we do daily here and what we can do throughout the whole season. That’s why we’re excited to start again, and you couldn’t ask for a tougher game than Wasps away.
“We have set our goals for the campaign and have absolute clarity about what we want to achieve and what we expect of ourselves. That long road begins on Sunday at the Ricoh and we can’t wait to get started.”
Wasps: Lima Sopoaga; Zach Kibirige, Juan de Jongh, Jimmy Gopperth, Josh Bassett; Jacob Umaga, Ben Vellacott; Simon McIntyre, Tommy Taylor, Kieran Brookes, Tim Cardall, James Gaskell, Jack Willis, Thomas Young, Brad Shields.
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Tom West, 18 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 19 Levi Douglas, 20 Alfie Barbeary, 21 Tom Willis, 22 Sam Wolstenholme, 23 Paolo Odogwu.
Bristol: Piers O’Conor; Niyi Adeolokun, Alapati Leiua, Siale Piutau (capt), Henry Purdy; Sam Bedlow, Harry Randall; Yann Thomas, Bryan Byrne, John Afoa, Ed Holmes, Joe Joyce, Chris Vui, Dan Thomas, Jake Heenan.
Replacements: 16 Will Capon, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 Jake Armstrong, 19 John Hawkins, 20 James Dun, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 Tom Wilstead, 23 Toby Fricker.
Here’s how to find a reliable live stream for Wasps v Bristol wherever you are…
How to watch Wasps v Bristol from outside your country
If you’re abroad but still want to watch your local Premiership coverage, like Wasps v Bristol, 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 VPNs 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.
Wasps v Bristol live stream: How to watch from the UK
Wasps v Bristol, which kicks off at 1pm today, 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.
If you’re from the UK but are overseas when Wasps v Bristol takes place, you can get your normal live stream but you’ll need a VPN – see the information above.
Wasps v Bristol live stream: How to watch from Europe
If you’re in Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you can watch Wasps v Bristol (kick-off 2pm) through the live and on-demand streaming service DAZN.
Wasps v Bristol 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 Wasps v Bristol from the Land of the Long White Cloud, the match kicks off at 2am 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 31 January you’ll get your first month free. Plus, you’ll get Sky Go, which allows you to watch live rugby wherever you are.
Wasps v Bristol 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, SuperSport shows matches in South Africa. Wasps v Bristol kicks off at 3pm on Variety 1.
There are various DStv packages giving access to SuperSport. They range from Access, which has the Blitz and Variety 4 channels, to Premium, which includes all 18 sports channels.
Wasps v Bristol live stream: How to watch from Japan
DAZN, which allows you to live stream sport or watch it on demand, is the place to go to watch Wasps v Bristol in Japan (kick-off 9pm). The service is compatible with smart TVs and phones, tablets, PCs, streaming sticks, set-top boxes, gaming consoles and more.
We recommend VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:
- Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service)
- 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.
Recommended videos for you
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.