World Rugby and the Japan Rugby 2019 Organising Committee has officially cancelled two matches in areas predicted to be affected by Typhoon Hagibis, expected to hit Japan from Saturday, October 12.
This will be the first time in the 32 year history of this tournament that matches are cancelled. Two points will be awarded to each team in line with tournament rules.
Based on the latest detailed information from the tournament’s independent weather experts, Hagibis is predicted to be the biggest typhoon of the 2019 season and is highly likely to cause considerable disruption in the Tokyo, Yokohama and City of Toyota areas throughout Saturday, including likely public transport shutdown or disruption, according to Rugby World Cup.
The matches cancelled are England vs France and New Zealand vs Italy, both scheduled for Saturday, October 12. Matches scheduled for Sunday are still under review as to whether or not they will go ahead as planned.
“We always knew there were going to be risks. “It’s rare for a typhoon of this magnitude to cause this impact this late in the typhoon season,” Rugby World Cup tournament director Alan Gilpin said in an official statement. “While it’s regrettable, we’ve made, we believe, the right decision with everyone’s safety as the priority,” he added.