Wednesday 23 October 2019

Japan v Scotland: World Rugby to make decision 'soon' as Typhoon Hagibis hits

Japan's rugby team players Takuya Kitade, left, and Yusuke Kizu wade through a flooded walkway at a stadium in Tokyo
Japan's rugby team players Takuya Kitade, left, and Yusuke Kizu wade through a flooded walkway at a stadium in Tokyo

Andy Newport

World Rugby says it aims to make a decision on whether Scotland's storm-threatened clash with Japan on Sunday can go ahead as early as possible.

Typhoon Hagibis is due to strike the eastern coast of Japan on Saturday, with the 1400km-wide super cyclone predicted to cause widespread damage.

Reports have suggested an inspection of Yokohama's International Stadium - where the climax to Pool A is due to be played - will to take place at 6am Japan time on the morning of the game (10pm Saturday BST), with a decision due two hours later.

But the tournament organisers say they will only be able to make that call once it is safe enough for inspections to take place.

A World Rugby spokesman said: "Our primary consideration is the safety of everyone.

"We will undertake detailed venue inspections as soon as practically possible with an announcement following as soon as decisions are made in the morning.

"Our message to fans continues be stay indoors today, stay safe and monitor official Rugby World Cup social and digital channels."

Hagibis is set to become Japan's biggest storm in 51 years and is expected to have a major impact on the country's transport and rail networks.

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It could play a part in whether the game is allowed to go ahead, with a closed door match still a possibility.

World Rugby must make a final decision on whether the game goes ahead no later than six hours before the 7.45pm (11.45am BST) kick-off time.

Scotland must beat the Brave Blossoms to qualify for the quarter-finals. If they match is called off, it will be declared a draw and Gregor Townsend's team will exit the competition.

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