TOKYO — England’s final pool stage match against France and New Zealand’s game against Italy have both been cancelled due to the expected impact of Typhoon Hagibis but World Rugby is hopeful Japan’s key match against Scotland on Sunday will go ahead as planned.
The category five typhoon is set to hit mainland Japan on Saturday, and World Rugby has pre-emptively cancelled the England-France match which was due to take place in Yokohama that evening. New Zealand-Italy, which was due to place in Toyota, has also been cancelled.
As a result, both teams are awarded two points each, meaning New Zealand go through as winners of Pool A and England top Pool C.
World Rugby Chief Operating Officer and Tournament Director Alan Gilpin said: “This is a complex and dynamic situation which we have been monitoring extremely closely with the assistance of our weather information experts.
“While making every possible effort to put in place a contingency plan that would enable all of Saturday’s matches to be played, it would be grossly irresponsible to leave teams, fans, volunteers and other tournament personnel exposed during what is predicted to be a severe typhoon.”
He added that safety had to be the determining factor in these decisions.
“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,” he said.
“They will be entitled to a full refund on their match tickets.”
Japan-Scotland is also under threat with the match due to be played Sunday in Yokohama, but tournament organisers are continuing to monitor the weather. They will decide on Sunday’s four matches that morning. Scotland-Japan will be subject to the same decision-making progress as the other pool matches. Either it’s played or it will be cancelled, with no option of postponement or relocation.