Rugby World Cup Day 18 round-up: Typhoon worries, Henshaw boost and questions over Vunipola
Day 18 of the Rugby World Cup has come to a close in Japan - here's everything you need to know about what happened today.
Typhoon on the horizon
As Typhoon Hagibis moves closer to the Japanese mainland, it is still uncertain what it could mean for Ireland vs Samoa this Saturday. Initial weather reports indicated that the intense storm could threaten the match going ahead, with World Rugby stating before the tournament that games cancelled due to bad weather will be recorded as a 0-0 draw.
Such an occurrence would be a disaster for Ireland, opening the door for them to be eliminated from the tournament. However, World Rugby have since confirmed that they have a contingency plan in place, which could see Ireland vs Samoa moved to Sunday.
The latest weather forecast is more positive though, as Typhoon Hagibis could wind up hitting Tokyo rather than Fukuoka.
Henshaw nears a return
After a miserable few weeks on the injury front, Ireland are set to receive a boost this weekend with the return of centre Robbie Henshaw. The Athlone native hurt his hamstring ahead of the first game against Scotland, and is yet to see action in the tournament.
However, the Leinster star is in line to start against Samoa on Saturday, and he caught up with Cian Tracey of the Irish Independent to discuss his frustrating time in Japan thus far.
International Rugby Newsletter
Fears grow over Vunipola
England could be facing into the World Cup knockout stage without their key man, with Eddie Jones sweating over the availability of Billy Vunipola.
The bulldozing back row went down with an ankle injury against Argentina, which was the Saracens star's seventh game in nine weeks. Vunipola is set to have his left ankle further assessed before it is determined whether he can play any further part in England's tournament.
Penney breaks his silence
It is not directly related to the World Cup, but Ruaidhri O'Connor of the Irish Independent sat down with former Munster coach Rob Penney to discuss why he left the province back in 2014.
The Kiwi coach was very revealing and forthright in describing the difficulties he faced when trying to change the team's style of play from a forward-orientated game to a more expansive brand of rugby.
"It was massively challenging, but I was up for it," he said.
"The unfortunate thing was we had some internal aspects that weren't engaged in it and that's where the resistance came from.
"When you've got that resistance coming from within, the boys didn't know what to do.
"They were stuck between a rock and a hard place, they knew the direction we were going was the future and the boys that have finished playing now... you go talk to ROG and the boys on the other side, playing here tonight - they knew it was the right thing to do. Talk to Felix (Jones).
"There were just so many powerful influences behind the scenes and that's why I had to go. It was either me going or other people moving on and that wasn't going to happen, so..."
Latest from Fukuoka
On today's episode of The Left Wing - RWC Daily, Cian Tracey and Jonathan Bradley of the Belfast Telegraph are joined by Ruth Gorman of UTV to discuss all the latest news from Japan.
Just one game tomorrow, as South Africa close out their Pool B schedule against Canada. The game kicks off at 11.15am.
Rugby World Cup fixtures and results
Pool A - IRELAND, SCOTLAND, JAPAN, RUSSIA, SAMOA
Japan 30 Russia 10 - Tokyo Stadium, Friday, September 20
Ireland 27 Scotland 3- International Stadium Yokohama. Sunday, September 22
Russia 9 Samoa 34 - Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Tuesday, September 24
Japan 19 Ireland 12 - Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa. Saturday, September 28
Scotland 34 Samoa 0 - Kobe Misaki Stadium, Monday, September 30
Ireland 35 Russia 0 - Kobe Misaki Stadium, Thursday, October 3, 11.15am
Japan 38 Samoa 19 - City of Toyota Stadium, Saturday, October 5, 11.30am
Scotland vs Russia - Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Wednesday, October 9, 8.15am
Ireland vs Samoa - Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Saturday, October 12, 11.45am
Pool B - NEW ZEALAND, SOUTH AFRICA, ITALY, NAMIBIA, CANADA
New Zealand 23 South Africa 13 - International Stadium Yokohama, Saturday, September 21
Italy 47 Namibia 22 - Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Sunday, September 22
Italy 48 Canada 7 - Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Thursday, September 26
South Africa 57 Namibia 3 - City of Toyota Stadium, Saturday, September 28
New Zealand 63 Canada 0 - Oita Stadium, Wednesday, October 2
South Africa 49 Italy 3 - Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Friday, October 4, 10.45am
New Zealand 71 Namibia 9 - Tokyo Stadium, Sunday, October 6, 5.45am
South Africa vs Canada - Kobe Misaki Stadium, Tuesday, October 8, 11.15am
New Zealand vs Italy - City of Toyota Stadium, Saturday, October 12, 5.45am
Namibia vs Canada - Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, Sunday, October 13, 4.15am
Pool C - ENGLAND, FRANCE, ARGENTINA, USA, TONGA
France 23 Argentina 21 - Tokyo Stadium, Saturday, September 21
England 35 Tonga 3 - Sapporo Dome, Sunday, September 22
England 45 USA 7 - Kobe Misaki Stadium, Thursday, September 26
Argentina 28 Tonga 12 - Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Saturday, September 28
France 33 USA 9 - Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Wednesday, October 2
England 39 Argentina 10 - Tokyo Stadium, Saturday, October 5, 9am
France 23 Tonga 21 - Kumamoto Stadium, Sunday, October 6, 8.45am
Argentina vs USA - Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Wednesday, October 9, 5.45am
England vs France - International Stadium Yokohama, Saturday, October 12, 9.15am
USA vs Tonga - Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Sunday, October 13, 6.45am
Japan vs Scotland - International Stadium Yokohama, Sunday, October 13, 11.45am
Pool D - AUSTRALIA, WALES, GEORGIA, FIJI, URUGUAY
Australia 39 Fiji 21 - Sapporo Dome, Saturday, September 21
Wales 43 Georgia 14 - City of Toyota Stadium, Monday, September 23
Fiji 27 Uruguay 30 - Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, Wednesday, September 25
Georgia 33 Uruguay 7 - Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Sunday, September 29
Australia 25 Wales 29 - Tokyo Stadium, Sunday, September 29
Georgia 10 Fiji 45 - Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Thursday, October 3, 6.15am
Australia 45 Uruguay 10 - Oita Stadium, Saturday, October 5, 6.15am
Wales vs Fiji - Oita Stadium, Wednesday, October 9, 10.45am
Australia vs Georgia - Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Friday, October 11, 11.15am
Wales vs Uruguay - Kumamoto Stadium, Sunday, October 13, 9.15am
Quarter-Finals: October 19-20.
Semi-Finals: October 26-27.
Bronze Final: November 1.
Final: November 2.