NASA image shows the outer parts of Hagibis reaching Japan.
Typhoon Hagibis

Canada v Namibia cancelled, but Wales v Uruguay and USA v Tonga go ahead

World Rugby has yet to make an announcement on Scotland’s clash with Japan.

RUGBY WORLD CUP organisers have cancelled Sunday’s match between Namibia and Canada due to Typhoon Hagibis, but given the go-ahead for the clash between Tonga and the US, as well as green-lighting Wales versus Uruguay.

The governing body has yet to announce a decision on the crucial Pool A clash between Scotland and Japan, which will have a say on who Ireland face in the World Cup quarter-finals. 

World Rugby said “a detailed assessment is underway at Yokohama International Stadium” in relation to that Pool A tie and that an announcement will be made soon.

Wales and Uruguay will play further south in Kumamoto today, while Tonga and the US will meet in Hanazono this afternoon.

Unfortunately, the Pool B clash between Namibia and Canada in Kamaishi has been cancelled, World Rugby confirmed.

“Typhoon Hagibis was one of the most powerful storms to hit Japan in decades and safety considerations are at the heart of the decision,” reads an official statement.

“Kamaishi is situated in a highly mountainous area, including mountains directly behind the main stand of the stadium. There have been landslides and flooding in the vicinity of the stadium and along access roads to the venue following torrential rain throughout the night.”

“We were left with no option but to cancel the match on safety grounds,” added tournament director Alan Gilpin.

All eyes are now on whether the do-or-die match between hosts Japan and Scotland in Yokohama will go ahead.

Cancellation is a blow for the northern town of Kamaishi, whose hosting of World Cup games was a potent symbol of recovery from a 2011 tsunami disaster when it was nearly wiped off the map. 

It also robs Namibia of a chance to grab their first World Cup win and end their record run of 22 games at the tournament without a victory. Canada are without a win in their last 10 World Cup matches.

The cancellation means that only one game was held at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium — Uruguay’s stunning, 30-27 upset of Fiji in Pool D.

The stadium, the only purpose-built venue at the World Cup, was built on the site of a school which was the scene for the “Miracle of Kamaishi,” when more than 400 children sprinted into the mountains to safety.  

“Our hearts go out to the teams and also their fans, but also the people of Kamaishi, who have been incredible during what has been a special journey in recent years,” said Gilpin.

“Nobody will be more disappointed than them, but also nobody would have better empathy with the decision.”

© – AFP 2019

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