World Rugby Monitoring Typhoon Hagibis That Could Hit Japan This Saturday

The final whistle after the 2011 quarter-final in Wellington

Rugby World Cup organizers stressed Thursday that if Japan's game against Scotland can not go ahead as planned as the result of Typhoon Hagibis it will, according to tournament rules, be regarded as a 0-0 draw, with the two sides getting two points each.

Japan would top their pool and play the Springboks, leaving Scotland, who sit one point behind Ireland, robbed of the opportunity to defeat the hosts in their final game to potentially progress.

World Rugby stated: "The decision to cancel matches has not been taken lightly and has been made in the best interests of public, team, tournament personnel and volunteer safety, based on expert advice and detailed weather information".

"While it's regrettable, we've made, we believe, the right decision with everyone's safety as the priority", he added. Their tickets will be fully refunded, Gilpin said.

Japan are capable of causing another major shock at the Rugby World Cup, according to former England wing Jason Robinson.

"Japan, now, are sitting in such a good place and it bodes well for the rest of the World Cup".

"We always knew there would be risks (with the weather) but it's rare for there to be a typhoon of this size at this stage of the year".

But it appears plans are in place with the Irish Times revealing that the tournament organisers are looking at moving the game to another location or moving it forward a day to Sunday and keeping it Hakatanomori stadium.

The host nation would qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time if their match in Yokohama is called off.

If a match is cancelled in the Pool stages then tournament rules state the result will be declared 0-0, with both teams taking two points each.

The England-France pool match scheduled for Saturday in Yokohama was cancelled by Rugby World Cup organizers because that is when and where the approaching storm, the most powerful this year, is expected to make landfall.

If that game were to be abandoned it would be a disaster for the Scots, who would be eliminated, while Japan go through as shock winners of Pool A with Ireland runners-up.

Hagibis is ranked as "violent", the highest classification used by the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA), and is packing maximum gusts of up to 270 kilometers, or 168 miles, per hour.

Scotland's clash with Japan at Yokohama is in danger of disruption due to typhoon Hagibis, which is set to hit the Tokyo area on Saturday.

Forecasts suggest Typhoon Hagibis could hit the island of Kyushu this weekend.

The southern city was originally forecast to be in the typhoon's path but a change in direction on Tuesday may have dashed that prospect.

East Japan Railway Co, which serves eastern Japan including Tokyo, said it might have to suspend operations on conventional lines as well as the Shinkansen bullet train service over the weekend.

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

"Obviously with those very strong and severe winds, with heavy rain, there is likelihood of significant impact from the damaging winds and also from storm surge". Why, if you work that hard and prepare yourself, let weather influence the outcome of the match?

England and France have already advanced to the knockout round. "The scoreline doesn't suggest that, but the effort that went into getting that scoreline by putting pressure on the Russian defence to open up spaces was huge from my players".

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