Two Rugby World Cup fixtures called off due to Typhoon and could have consuquences for Ireland 5 days ago

Two Rugby World Cup fixtures called off due to Typhoon and could have consuquences for Ireland

Don't say you weren't warned.

For the last few days, the mutterings have been getting louder and louder. Forecasters shared their worries, meteorologists made a few predictions and the whether people brought the message home.

From Japan, you could feel the sense of alarm.

These games are in bother, they ensured us. But many weren't prepared to take them seriously. Well, we've no choice but to listen now.

With Typhoon Hagibis - predicted as one of the year's most destructive - set to blow hardest in and around Tokyo, there was no point in taking the risk according to tournament organisers.

And as a result two Rugby World Cup pool games have had to be called off, never to be played. England v France was supposed to be the heavyweight, the titanic meeting in Pool C. Now it won't go ahead at all with Yokohama too perilously close to the storm's eye.


On top of this, Italy's chances have also been wiped out. It would have taken the shock of the tournament for them to get through to the quarters, but they won't even get a shot at New Zealand now. Their clash at Toyota has fallen by the wayside too.

"Today we have taken the very difficult decision to cancel two Rugby World Cup pool matches," World Rugby COO and Tournament Director Alan Gilpin.

"Putting the safety first of the public, teams, tournament staff, tournament officials and volunteers (is imperative), Typhoon Hagibis is predicted to have a widespread and significant impact," he added.

Which would raise worries for Sunday's games. Ireland's clash with Samoa in Fukuoka is tipped to survive but the other crucial game in our group, between Scotland and Japan is in serious bother.

Impacts

If this game was to be cancelled, it would have huge ramifications for Ireland's pool.

The contingency rule for such situations is that each team is awarded two points from a 0-0 result.  If it is called off, Ireland, should they beat Samoa, will finish second in Pool A and face the All Blacks in the Quarter Finals. They cannot finish first because Japan, with their two extra points would be on the same as Ireland - but would be ahead on points difference.

Scotland will therefore be out of the competition.

It's set to be a hectic few days over in Japan.