Fears Decrease That Typhoon Could Disrupt Ireland World Cup Game

The World Cup clash between England and France has been cancelled as Typhoon Hagibis wreaks havoc in Japan and Asia overseas.

The Japan Meteorological Agency is warning the powerful typhoon may bring torrential rain and strong winds to central parts of the country over Saturday and Sunday, coinciding with the last round of World Cup pool games.

Japan's extras mean Scotland could take maximum points from their final two Pool A clashes against Russian Federation - who they face on Wednesday - and Japan but still crash out if the hosts were to secure two losing bonus points of their own.

"We fully appreciate that England, France, New Zealand and Italy fans will be disappointed, but we trust they will appreciate that their safety must come first".

The first-ever cancellation of a match in the tournament's history is set to be announced by organisers at 2:00pm AEDT.

Scotland's World Cup campaign is hanging by a thread.

"I think what you've all seen over the last three weeks absolutely in every respect vindicates the right decisions to be hosting a World Cup here in Japan", he said.

"We always knew there would be risks but it's rare for there to be a typhoon of this size at this stage of the year", he added. "It's rare for a typhoon of this magnitude to cause this impact this late in the typhoon season".

Organisers said they had "robust contingency plans" and could change the venue of a fixture or the timing if bad weather looks set to affect the match.

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There is still the prospect of games on Sunday suffering the same fate, including the Japan-Scotland blockbuster.

Tournament rules dictate that teams are awarded two points in the event of a canceled game, meaning Italy, which still had a mathematical chance of qualifying for the quarterfinals going into its match against New Zealand, has now been eliminated.

Mr Gilpin also confirmed that this weekend's game between title-holders New Zealand and Italy has also been cancelled. And he was left bemused by World Rugby's call and said if the fortunes were switched and it was the All Blacks needing a win then the organisers would have found a way to ensure the game went ahead.

Hagibis "is highly likely to cause considerable disruption in the Tokyo, Yokohama and Toyota City areas throughout Saturday", rugby's governing body said, warning fans there to stay indoors.

Hagbis is expected to hit Japan's southern Island of Honshu on the weekend, with winds hitting speeds of 270km/h.

East Japan Railway Co. said it might decide to cancel train services.

Hagibis is taking a similar trajectory to Faxai but is almost three times bigger in terms of area.

Gilpin said all 20 teams were aware of the cancellation policies well before the World Cup kicked off, so he wasn't expecting any protests or legal comeback from teams deprived of games. The more you have to work, the more pressure is on you and inevitably something will give.

England and France have already advanced to the knockout round.

  • Lawrence Cooper