Dublin: 17°C Sunday 25 July 2021

Scotland set to fight possibility of cancelled Pool A game against Japan

Gregor Townsend’s side could be knocked out of the World Cup without even getting to play the hosts.

SCOTLAND ARE SET to furiously fight against the possibility of their World Cup Pool A clash with hosts Japan in Yokohama on Sunday being cancelled.

With Super Typhoon Hagibis scheduled to hit the Yokohama and Tokyo region on Saturday, World Rugby has already cancelled two World Cup games.

Scotland’s meeting with Japan is currently under review, with World Rugby saying it will make a final decision on whether the fixture will go ahead on Sunday morning, with this clash set to impact majorly on Ireland’s Pool A.

gregor-townsend The Scots could be knocked out without even playing their final game. Source: Andrew Fosker/INPHO

While Hagibis should have moved well north of Yokohama by Sunday, there are fears it could leave a path of destruction behind it.

World Rugby has stated that Scotland’s game will either go ahead on Sunday as scheduled or be cancelled, with no scope for relocating it or rescheduling it for a different date.

If the game was cancelled, Scotland would face the prospect of exiting the World Cup without having a final chance to secure a quarter-final place.

A cancelled game would be recorded by World Rugby as a 0-0 draw.

If Ireland get even a single losing bonus point against Samoa on Saturday, a cancelled game would see Scotland exiting the tournament and Japan topping Pool A.

As such, the Scots are believed to be deeply unhappy at the prospect of not even getting a chance to play against Japan.

The Scottish Rugby Union has stressed that it “fully expects” contingency plans to be put into place by World Rugby so Scotland have a chance “to contest for a place in the quarter-finals on the pitch,” while seemingly highlighting their willingness to move venue or match date.

The Scots have also announced a previously unscheduled media briefing with head coach Gregor Townsend for 4pm local time in Japan [8am Irish time], where he is expected to underline Scotland’s insistence that the game needs to be played.

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“We are in regular dialogue with World Rugby at all levels to work to ensure our fixture against Japan on Sunday can be played as planned,” reads a statement from Scotland. “Public safety is the clear priority.

“With potential impact on our last Pool A fixture, Scottish Rugby fully expects contingency plans to be put in place to enable Scotland to contest for a place in the quarter-finals on the pitch, and will be flexible to accommodate this.”

World Rugby stressed that all teams participating in the World Cup had agreed to the possibility of games being cancelled due to extraordinary weather events.

About the author:

Murray Kinsella  / Reports from Fukuoka

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