World Rugby decision on cancellation due to typhoon early on Thursday

World Rugby decision on cancellation due to typhoon early on Thursday

Decisive games in Pool A and Pool C this weekend that will also affect the play-off match-ups in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals remain under threat from Typhoon Hagibis. 

A decision from World Rugby on the situation is expected to be made on Thursday, just 48 hours before England’s game against France kicks off.

The typhoon has escalated with winds reaching 180mph (290km/h) in what has been reported as one of the most dramatic intensifications of any tropical cyclone since records began.

♦  England and France are two of the teams that could be affected as their match in Yokohama will determine which the first two place in Pool C, with obvious ramifications for their probable opponents in the quarterfinals.

It is mainly Pool A and Pool C games that are under threat from the typhoon, although the effect of the results and whether the games go ahead or are cancelled will impact on their opponents for the quarterfinals.

Although the course of the storm cannot be determined with accuracy, it is expected to make landfall in southern Japan by Saturday. This could impact also on the Pool C fixture in Yokohama, where Scotland have to play tournament hosts Japan in Pool A on Sunday.

Ireland's Pool A game against Samoa on Saturday and Wales' Pool D clash with Uruguay on Sunday are on the other side of Japan, in Fukuoka and Kumamoto respectively, and contrary to earlier predictions are now most likely out of the storm's main path.

World Rugby is expected to announce on Thursday whether any matches must be cancelled due to the storm or moved elsewhere – something that needs to be done urgently as flights and other means of transport will be affected by the typhoon.

♦ According to the news agency AFP  the WRC tournament organiser Alan Gilpin has told the agency that they are getting updated information every three hours. A decision on cancelling a match would be confirmed "six to eight hours out," Gilpin added.

AFP declares that, during the pool stages there is no possibility of rescheduling a match.

This probably because of the knock-on effect due to the frequency of matches and the difference in time between matches for the affected teams.

If a game has to be cancelled due to adverse weather, it counts as a 0-0 draw, with both teams getting two points each.

However, in the knock-out stages there are reserve days if a match cannot be played.