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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Monday, September 7th 2020

Preview: Northampton Saints (h) - Gallagher Premiership

Bristol Bears welcome Northampton Saints to Ashton Gate on Tuesday night in search of a 12th win of the season in the Gallagher Premiership. 

Four second half tries fired Pat Lam's men to a bonus-point victory over Worcester Warriors at Sixways, while Saints were edged out by high-flying Exeter Chiefs at Franklin's Gardens.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of Tuesday's Gallagher Premiership clash with Northampton Saints at Ashton Gate.


Match details

  • Date: Tuesday, September 8th
  • Kick-off: 7.45pm
  • Competition: Gallagher Premiership
  • Where: Ashton Gate
  • Referee: Tom Foley (81st Premiership game). Assistant Referees: Jack Makepeace & Simon McConnell. TMO: Wayne Barnes. Citing Officer: Buster White
  • Media coverage: BT Sport 1 HD - find out more about Match Pass access here.

Team news

Bristol Bears go in search of back-to-back Gallagher Premiership wins when Northampton Saints visit in round 19.

Director of Rugby Pat Lam makes eight changes from the side that earned a bonus point win victory over Worcester at Sixways.

Piers O’Conor and Alapati Leiua come into the back three, while Andy Uren is also selected in the backline. Siale Piutau is handed the captaincy for the Ashton Gate clash and is selected to start, subject to the outcome of Monday’s online independent disciplinary panel.

In the pack, Jake Woolmore and Harry Thacker are named in the front row, while Dave Attwood and Joe Joyce come into the second row. Chris Vui switches to blindside flanker, while Ben Earl returns to the starting line-up.

Chris Cook is listed among the replacements and could make his Bristol Bears debut if called upon.

Bristol Bears team to face Northampton Saints at Ashton Gate on Tuesday, September 8th (7.45pm KO):

15. Charles Piutau; 14. Piers O’Conor, 13. Semi Radradra, 12. Siale Piutau (c), 11. Alapati Leiua; 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Andy Uren; 1. Jake Woolmore, 2. Harry Thacker, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Dave Attwood, 5. Joe Joyce, 6. Chris Vui, 7. Ben Earl, 8. Nathan Hughes.

System players: 16. Will Capon, 17. Yann Thomas, 18. Peter McCabe, 19. Steven Luatua, 20. Dan Thomas, 21. Chris Cook, 22. Max Malins, 23. Luke Morahan.

Northampton Saints:

15. Tommy Freeman, 14. Ryan Olowofela, 13. Fraser Dingwall, 12. Piers Francis, 11. Taqele Naiyaravor, 10. James Grayson, 9. Tom James; 1. Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, 2. Mikey Haywood, 3. Ehren Painter, 4. Alex Moon, 5. Nick Isiekwe, 6. Jamie Gibson, 7. Lewis Ludlam (c), 8. 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


Last time out

Northampton Saints 14-20 Bristol Bears | Sunday, February 16th 2019 | Franklin's Gardens

Two tries in two minutes from Henry Purdy and Lewis Thiede saw Bristol Bears fight back from 14-0 down to snatch a dramatic victory over Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens for the second successive season.

Trailing 11-0 at the break after Harry Mallinder’s first half score, Saints edged further ahead courtesy of James Grayson’s third penalty early in the second period.

But Pat Lam’s men sprung into life on the hour mark, as Purdy picked a beautiful line to score out wide after Piers O’Conor’s long-range break, with Callum Sheedy converting to go with his earlier penalty.

The Bristol fly half was back in action almost immediately from the restart, dummying and breaking from deep, before Thiede powered over from close range to edge the visitors in front on 65 minutes.

Ian Madigan made it 20 unanswered points with an 80th-minute penalty, to send Bristol back into the Gallagher Premiership top four.

Read the full report here. 


Word from the camp

Pat Lam says the Bears will need to be wary of a ‘dangerous’ Northampton Saints when the sides meet at Ashton Gate on Tuesday night (7.45pm KO, BT Sport 1 HD).

A dominant second half display saw Lam’s side storm to a bonus point victory at Sixways on Friday night – and the Director of Rugby says the Bears will need to play with control against Saints.

Subscribe to Bristol Bears TV by clicking here. 


Form guide

Bristol Bear’s record since the return of Gallagher Premiership Rugby is won three lost two, with their defeat to Exeter Chiefs in their most recent game at Ashton Gate ending a five-game winning run at the venue in all competitions.

Northampton Saints only victory since the return was 27-3 at London Irish in round 15. The Saints have won four of their last six away games in all tournaments.

Bristol have won their last two matches against Northampton but have not achieved a Premiership Rugby season’s double over the East Midlanders since 2006-07. Northampton have been victorious on both of their two previous visits to Ashton Gate.

Bristol Bears: WLL
Northampton Saints: LLW 


Head-to-head

Harry Thacker vs Mikey Haywood

Thacker returns at hooker for the Bears and takes on Saints dynamo, Mikey Haywood in an exciting front-row battle.

Andy Uren vs Tom James

At scrum half, Andy Uren comes into the Bears starting lineup to take on former Doncaster Knights number nine, Tom James. 


Statto's corner

  • Chris Cook set for club debut
  • Bristol Bears’ 100th game at Ashton Gate
  • Bears have not achieved a Premiership Rugby season’s double over Saints since 2006-07

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