Issued on: Modified:
Rugby World Cup organisers took the unprecedented step of cancelling games – England v France, and New Zealand v Italy – on Thursday as Super Typhoon Hagibis bears down on Japan.
Both games were in the projected path of the storm, which has a "violent" rating—the highest category by Japans weather bureau—and is due to hit on Saturday.
Sundays four games, including the Pool A showdown between hosts Japan and Scotland in Yokohama, remain under review, tournament director Alan Gilpin said.
“Weve taken the very difficult decision to cancel certain matches in the affected areas,” Gilpin said. It is the first time in the tournaments 32-year history that any game has been axed.
“We are continuing to review Sundays matches and making every effort to ensure they will be played as scheduled,” Gilpin added.
"Today we have taken the very difficult decision to cancel two Rugby World Cup pool matches"
World Rugby COO and #RWC2019 Tournament Director Alan Gilpin gives an update regarding the predicted impact of Typhoon Hagibis on this weekends pool matches at Rugby World Cup 2019. pic.twitter.com/YHns1B1iyS
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 10, 2019
Seven games were slated for the final weekend of the pool stage, when matches are tightly packed and cannot be rescheduled. Cancelled games are recorded as 0-0 draws, with both teams awarded two points.
England and France are already qualified from Pool C, with England top of the group, but Pool A hangs in the balance ahead of Japans final game against Scotland in Yokohama on Sunday.
If that game were to be abandoned it would be a disaster for the Scots, who would be eliminated, while Japan would go through to the quarter-finals as shock winners of Pool A with Ireland runners-up.
Australias game against Georgia on Friday will go ahead, as will Saturdays match between Ireland and Samoa, which is in Fukuoka in Japans southwest, out of the path of the storm.
Hagibis, packing maximum gusts of up to 270 kilometres (168 miles) per hour, is currently projected to hit the Tokyo and Yokohama area on Saturday.
Large and violent typhoon
“It is currently a large and violent typhoon. As it moves north and approaches Japan, it will be technically downgraded slightly to a very strong typhoon,” said a meteorologist at the Japan Meteorological Agency.
“But the fact remains it will remain very strong when it arrives… This is a very large typhoon, which means it may have a significant impact in large areas,” he added.
Formula One organisers also said they were “closely monitoring” the potential impact of Hagibis ahead of this weekends Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, southwRead More – Source