HONG KONG — that has a supertyphoon bearing down on Japan on Thursday, Rugby World Cup organizers canceled two matches for initially.
Saturday’s games between brand new Zealand as well as Italy in Toyota City as well as between England as well as France in Yokohama were canceled because of safety concerns, Alan Gilpin, the tournament director, said at a news briefing in Tokyo.
“We’ve been intensively working through a range of contingency options in partnership with host cities, the venues as well as the teams to try as well as ensure which any impacted matches features a fair chance of being played,” Gilpin told reporters. “However, the risks are just too challenging to enable us to deliver a fair as well as consistent contingency approach for all teams as well as participants, as well as importantly, to provide confidence inside safety of spectators.”
He said which the storm was required to be the most severe typhoon of the 2019 season in Japan as well as which public transportation shutdowns as well as disruptions were expected in Tokyo, Yokohama as well as Toyota City.
Matches are required to be played as scheduled on Friday in Shizuoka between Australia as well as Georgia as well as on Saturday in Fukuoka between Ireland as well as Samoa.
Gilpin said conditions would likely be evaluated Sunday morning, after the storm will be required to have passed through the greater Tokyo area, to determine whether games which evening would likely be played. The main game which could be affected on Sunday will be a key Pool A match between Japan as well as Scotland, which could affect which of the teams progresses to the knockout phase of the tournament.
The brand new Zealand-Italy match could have affected the knockout phase, although Italy was a prohibitive underdog which has never beaten the All Blacks in 14 tries. Italy lost its pool match to South Africa by 46 points, as well as pundits had predicted an equally lopsided defeat against brand new Zealand.
Still, Italy’s Irish coach, Conor O’Shea, voiced his players’ disappointment with the cancellation.
“I’m finding This particular truly difficult, as well as I saw the players’ reaction after training, as well as This particular was horrible because these guys have given their lives to Italian rugby as well as their World Cup has ended on the training pitch, when This particular should be on the playing field,” O’Shea said.
England as well as France had already clinched places inside quarterfinals, although their game might have affected whom they would likely play in which round.
If the Sunday match between Japan, the host nation, as well as Scotland cannot be played, This particular would likely go down as a scoreless draw, with each team earning 2 points inside pool standings. which would likely leave Japan at the top of the pool as well as would likely probably mean which Scotland would likely go home, barring an upset of Ireland by Samoa.
If the game will be played, as well as if Scotland wins as well as scores four or more tries to earn a bonus point, which result would likely knock the Japanese out of the tournament, again barring an upset of Ireland.
which would likely give Japan the distinction of repeating its fate of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, when This particular became the first nation to win three pool matches as well as not reach the knockout phase.
Scotland will be a slight favorite, although Japan has played inspired rugby for its home fans as well as will be one of only all 5 undefeated teams left inside tournament. Gregor Townsend, the Scottish coach, told reporters he was confident which the game would likely be played as well as which he would likely be very disappointed if This particular were to be canceled.
“This particular will make things very unusual for a World Cup in any sport to be decided by a game being called off on one day,” Townsend said. “Let’s say if you are looking out your hotel window at 5 o’clock on Sunday afternoon as well as This particular will be sunny, This particular would likely be quite strange if a game couldn’t take place which day.”
Cancellation rules for the tournament were set well in advance, as well as Gilpin said they were the same as in previous tournaments although never had to be used before. Asked whether any teams, such as Italy, might have legal recourse to lodge a complaint, he said: “All of the teams signed up to the participation agreement to the tournament. They’re well aware of the tournament rules.”
Gilpin said tournament organizers had not calculated the economic impact of canceling matches, as well as he added which all fans with tickets would likely receive refunds.