Rugby

World Rugby Hits Back At Scotland As Typhoon Hagibis Nears Japan

World Rugby Hits Back At Scotland As Typhoon Hagibis Nears Japan

As super typhoon Hagibis looks set to make landfall and cause disaster in Japan, the war of words between the Scottish Rugby Union and World Rugby over the mooted cancellation of the Japan-Scotland fixture on Sunday has been ratcheted up across the day.

This morning, the head of the SRU Mark Dodson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that they were considering legal action if the match was cancelled. Their simple-sounding solution was to move the fixture to Monday.

'We won't let Scotland be collateral damage for a decision taken in haste,' he said.

This afternoon, World Rugby has issued a statement expressing disappointment with SRU's position.

“It is disappointing that the Scottish Rugby Union should make such comments at a time when we are doing everything we can to enable all Sunday’s matches to take place as scheduled, and when there is a real and significant threat to public safety owing to what is predicted to be one of the largest and most destructive typhoons to hit Japan since 1958.

"Along with the 19 other teams, the Scottish Rugby Union signed the Rugby World Cup 2019 terms of participation, which clearly state in Section 5.3: ‘Where a pool Match cannot be commenced on the day in which it is scheduled, it shall not be postponed to the following day, and shall be considered as cancelled. In such situations, the result shall be declared a draw and Teams will be allocated two Match points each and no score registered.

“As outlined during Thursday’s media conference in Tokyo, the core principle that could enable us to explore a departure from the terms of participation, is a fair and consistent application of the rescheduling for all teams in a safe environment for teams, fans and essential match services.

The sheer predicted scale and impact of the typhoon, and the complexity of team movements for eight matches, meant that an even-handed application was just not possible without putting safety at risk. Therefore, it was the fair and correct decision for all teams to maintain the position outlined in the terms of participation.

“It would be inappropriate to make further comment at a time when we are fully focused on the safety of everyone and this weekend’s matches.”

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Meanwhile, Chris Jones of the BBC has revealed the schedule for the pitch inspection that will take place Sunday morning, and said it looks increasingly unlikely that there will be a crowd at the match, should it go ahead.

Amid the very frightening prospect of this storm hitting Japan, we are braced for one of the most surreal scenes in recent sports administration.

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