TOKYO (Reuters) - Rugby World Cup organisers are expected to announce on Thursday that England’s game against France on Saturday has been cancelled and that Sunday’s game between Japan and Scotland is in doubt, because of the potential impact of Typhoon Hagibis.
Tournament officials and the sport’s governing body World Rugby are due to hold a news conference in Tokyo on the issue at 0300 GMT, with British and local media reporting widely that the England versus France game in Yokohama will not go ahead.
The fierce tropical storm, predicted to be one of the most violent to hit the region in recent years, is expected to strike the Tokyo area this weekend.
Tournament rules state that any pool game that cannot be played is not rescheduled and instead is recorded as a 0-0 draw, with no bonus points available.
That means England and France, who have both already qualified, would finish first and second respectively in Pool C.
If the second match were to be cancelled, Japan would go into the quarter-finals for the first time, top of Group A. Ireland would then need any sort of victory in their final game against Samoa on Saturday - or even a bonus point should they lose - to join them, with Scotland eliminated.
If the news is confirmed it would be the first time a World Cup match has been cancelled.
The 1995 semi-final between hosts South Africa and France was delayed an hour due to a waterlogged pitch, but famously went ahead after cleaning ladies took to it with brooms.
Reporting by Mitch Phillips; Editing by Tom Hogue