Namibia and Canada’s final Pool B match at the Rugby World Cup has been cancelled due to the impact of Typhoon Hagibis.
Both teams were aiming to claim a first win of the tournament in Japan, but the tropical storm – one of the most powerful to hit the country in decades – means Sunday’s match in Kamaishi will not go ahead.
New Zealand’s match against Italy and England’s clash with France, both of which were due to take place on Saturday, were cancelled on Thursday. Italy’s slim chance of reaching the quarter-finals was ended by the decision.
The crucial Pool A fixture between Japan and Scotland has also come under threat, with Gregor Townsend’s team needing a bonus-point victory to be sure of progression.
UPDATE: Namibia v Canada cancelled at #RWC2019
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 12, 2019
A pitch inspection was due to decide the fate of Sunday’s Yokohama contest. In the result of a cancelled fixture the score would be classed as 0-0, resulting in Scotland going out of the competition and Japan progressing to the last eight for the first time.
Scottish Rugby has threatened legal action in such a scenario.
However, World Rugby said in a statement that it hoped Sunday’s remaining fixtures, including the Japan-Scotland match, would go ahead as planned.
World Rugby chief operating officer and tournament director Alan Gilpin said: “We remain optimistic that Sunday’s remaining matches will go ahead as scheduled in Kumamoto, Hanazono and Yokohama, which are much further south and therefore outside of the impact of the storm conditions this morning.”
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