Chances that Typhoon Hagibis could disrupt Ireland's final game of the Rugby World Cup pool stages against Samoa have decreased.
Ireland play the Samoans in Fukuoka at 7:45pm on Saturday, that's 11:45am Irish time. Hagibis was yesterday tracking to hit the city, which is located on the southern island of Kyushu. However, it is now predicted that it will take a different course, going north and missing Fukuoka.
"It remains too early to fully predict the movement and impact of the storm," said World Rugby in a statement, "however the latest modelling by our weather information experts indicates that it is now tracking north and east and will bring strong winds and heavy rain to Tokyo and surrounding areas on 12 October.
"Public and team safety is our number one priority. While we have robust contingency plans in place for pool matches, such plans, if required, will only be actioned if the safety of teams, fans, and workforce can be guaranteed. It would be inappropriate to comment on any contingency plans at this stage.
"We will continue to closely monitor this developing situation in partnership with our weather information experts, local authorities, transport providers and the teams, and will provide a further update tomorrow. Fans are advised to monitor official Rugby World Cup channels for any updates."
World Rugby rules dictate that should a game be cancelled, the game will be recorded as a 0-0 draw. That could see Ireland eliminated depending on the result between Japan and Scotland on Sunday.
However, it is likely that should the game be affected by the typhoon, it would be moved to another venue.
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