Sport: England v France to be cancelled as Japan braces for 'super typhoon' - PressFrom - Australia
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Sport England v France to be cancelled as Japan braces for 'super typhoon'

23:31  09 october  2019
23:31  09 october  2019 Source:   smh.com.au

Rugby World Cup blockbuster between France and England cancelled due to Super Typhoon Hagibis

  Rugby World Cup blockbuster between France and England cancelled due to Super Typhoon Hagibis The approach of Super Typhoon Hagibis forces the first-ever cancellation of a match in the tournament's history, having implications for the Wallabies' trajectory at the tournament in Japan.The first-ever cancellation of a match in the tournament's history is set to be announced by organisers at 2:00pm AEDT.

 Video provided by AFP

World Rugby are on Thursday expected to announce the cancellation of England's blockbuster final pool game against France as Typhoon Hagibis bears down on the Asian archipelago.

The cancellation - unprecedented in the World Cup's 32-year history - will not affect the rankings in Pool C and mean Australia are almost certain to play England in the first quarter final match at Oita Stadium on Saturday October 19.

Typhoon Hagibis set to disrupt Japanese GP

  Typhoon Hagibis set to disrupt Japanese GP Formula 1 is bracing itself for potential disruption over the Japanese Grand Prix weekend as it appears increasingly likely that Suzuka will be affected by the super typhoon Hagibis. The Japanese Meteorology Agency says its latest forecasts are for the typhoon to hit Japan on Saturday and Sunday, bringing with it violent winds and heavy rain.Current predictions are that Suzuka will face the worst of this on Saturday – although the exact timing and location of when the typhoon will make landfall is not yet certain.

It is not clear if other games will also be cancelled. The Rugby World Cup organising committee will hold a media briefing in Tokyo at 2pm AEDT on Thursday.

But by Wednesday night sources close to the England and French camps confirmed to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that they had been told unofficially the game would be cancelled, resulting in a 0-0 draw.

France are likely to be furious as it robs them of the chance to top Pool C and play the runner-up of Pool D (likely to be Australia), thereby setting up a potentially easier path through the final four.

England sit atop Pool C on 15 points with France trailing by two on 13 points. Argentina's win over USA on Wednesday afternoon was not enough to help them qualify for the knockout stages. The 2015 semi-finalists will exit the tournament in coming days.

Japan prepares as Super Typhoon Hagibis approaches

  Japan prepares as Super Typhoon Hagibis approaches A super typhoon heading for Japan could make landfall tomorrow, bringing heavy rain, gale-force winds, high waves and storm surges, to an area still recovering from a devastating typhoon last month, experts warn. Parts of Japan are still recovering from a devastating typhoon that struck a month ago, as the new storm, Typhoon Hagibis, headed north over the Pacific towards Japan's main island.The Japan Meteorological Agency issued warnings and advisories along the entire southern coast of Japan, as many made preparations for torrential rain and powerful winds.

a group of people playing a game of football: Scotland hammered Russia 61-0 in Shizuoka on Wednesday to keep their playoff hopes alive. © AP Scotland hammered Russia 61-0 in Shizuoka on Wednesday to keep their playoff hopes alive.

In Pool D, Australia and Wales are guaranteed quarter final spots. The only way the Wallabies could top the pool is if they beat Georgia on Friday and the Welsh lost to Uruguay on Sunday.

If Australia beat Georgia and the Wales v Uruguay game in Kumamoto is also called off, it will make no difference to the final pool standings, with the Wallabies and Wales level on points but Wales on top having beaten Australia in the pool stages.

Hagibis is expected to deliver lashing rain and damaging winds of up to 270km/h, hitting Japan's southern island of Honshu over the weekend.

Games in Yokohama are expected to be the worst affected, including the Pool C game between England and France on Saturday and the Pool A showdown between Japan and Scotland on Sunday.

The Brave Blossoms are topping the pool on 14 points with Ireland on 11 and Scotland on 10. Assuming Ireland beat Samoa in Fukuoka on Saturday, the winner of Sunday's game in Yokohama will determine which teams go through to the knock out rounds.

'They'd better win': Cheika kicks off quarter final coach-off with Jones

  'They'd better win': Cheika kicks off quarter final coach-off with Jones Michael Cheika and Eddie Jones go back some way. They are about to meet in the World Cup quarter finals.The Wallabies coach, fresh to the Test landscape and aware of the power dynamics between an imperious England and rebuilding Australia, copped barb after barb his former Randwick club mate pegged at him.

World Rugby could be planning to move the Scotland v Japan game down to Oita Stadium, which has a roof. Fiji were planning to stay in Oita until Sunday but were told immediately after their 27-19 loss to Wales that they would be moving back up to Tokyo instead, a source told the Herald.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Wales snuffed out any slim hopes of a Fijian quarter final presence with a win in Oita on Wednesday. © Getty Wales snuffed out any slim hopes of a Fijian quarter final presence with a win in Oita on Wednesday.

On Wednesday Scotland coach Gregor Townsend said his side were preparing as usual for the game.

"I had a look at the weather app and it does look like it is heading into Tokyo this weekend," Townsend said after his team's 61-0 bonus point win over Russia. "It is a few days away and it could miss the Tokyo area or could still go there."

Tournament rules state that any pool game which cannot be played will not be rescheduled and instead be recorded as a 0-0 draw, with bonus points unavailable. That would ensure Scotland fail to reach the quarter-finals for just the second time in the tournament's history.

Townsend said he was unsure whether World Rugby had back-up plans. Earlier on Wednesday media reports suggested the England v France game would be moved to Oita, on Japan's southern island of Kyushu.

Japan GP organisers say safety 'top priority' as Typhoon Hagibis looms

  Japan GP organisers say safety 'top priority' as Typhoon Hagibis looms Japanese Grand Prix organisers on Thursday pledged that the safety of fans and drivers would be their top priority as they monitor a massive typhoon threatening to cause havoc at the weekend. Typhoon Hagibis is classed as "violent" -- the top end of Japan's storm scale and the equivalent of a category five hurricane -- and is currently predicted to make landfall near Tokyo on Saturday.

"We will be getting updates from World Rugby over the next two days over what the contingencies are," Townsend said.

Pictures: Best pics from the 2019 Rugby World Cup

"I am sure that alternative venues or arrangements are being looked at. Not just our game, but England and France play in the same stadium the night before.

"I don't know if that's getting looked at for the Ireland-Samoa game (on Saturday) as well, with it being first forecast as (hitting) Fukuoka."

Townsend said he felt his players had done what was required on Wednesday to put themselves in position to dash the hopes of the tournament hosts of reaching the knock-out stages for the first time.

"It was a tough game," Townsend said. "The scoreline doesn't suggest that, but the effort that went into getting that scoreline by putting pressure on the Russian defence to open up spaces was huge from my players.

"Getting the bonus point ... we knew that if we hadn't got that, Sunday would have been difficult, so getting that was excellent.

"Getting a big score will also keep things interesting for Saturday, as well with the Ireland-Samoa game.

"But also for the confidence - the players know that for two games now we haven't conceded a point, that's very encouraging."

It's on: Japan v Scotland to go ahead in major relief for organisers .
Tournament officials have announced the Pool A thriller will be played on Sunday night as scheduled.World Rugby confirmed fans would also be welcome at the match despite earlier speculation it could be closed to broadcasters only, but officials asked for patience after catering operations were affected by the typhoon. It is scheduled for 9.45pm AEDT at Yokohama Stadium.

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