Typhoon causes England Rugby Union World Cup game against France to be cancelled

England’s Rugby World Cup game against France has been cancelled due to Super Typhoon Hagibis.

England head coach Eddie Jones: 'We can't control it.'
England head coach Eddie Jones: 'We can't control it.'

Coach Eddie Jones confirmed that England will leave Tokyo for Miyazaki, the location for England’s pre-tournament training camp.

“We found out officially this morning but there were rumours flying around last night so we were glued to our phone last night,” said Jones.

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“We didn’t really care (when hearing the news). We were preparing for the game in game mode and now the game is off, we’re in preparation mode. We can’t control it.

“We’re told what to do. There’s no use speculating on the alternatives. We’re excited about having great preparation for the quarter-finals.

“We’ll have a short pre-season camp in Miyazaki and then we’re off to Oita. We have an exceptional record in two-week preparations.”

World Cup tournament director Alan Gilpin confirmed at World Rugby’s press conference that the clash with France has been cancelled, along with New Zealand’s match against Italy.

Sunday’s games - including Scotland v Japan - remain under review.

Gilpin stated that World Rugby’s hand was forced by the potential destruction caused by the region’s most powerful typhoon of the year.

“Based on this morning’s advice, Hagibis is predicted to be the biggest of 2019 and highly likely to cause disruption in the Yokohama, Tokyo and Toyota area, including public transport shutdown,” Gilpin said.

“As a result of this independent advice, we have taken the difficult and right decision in the affected areas. Where pool matches do not go ahead, two points will be appointed to each team.

“New Zealand and Italy in Toyota and England v France in Yokohama will be cancelled.

“As you can imagine the decision has not been taken lightly and in the best interest of safety as a priority.”

A decision on Scotland’s crunch showdown with Japan has yet to be made. If the game does not go ahead, the Scots will be eliminated while the hosts are seeking a first ever place in the quarter-finals.

“All fans will receive full refunds. We are continuing to review Sunday’s matches and making sure they are played as scheduled,” Gilpin said.

“Assessment will be made after the typhoon has passed. We are advising all fans in Toyota, Yokohama and Tokyo to stay inside on Saturday.

“We looked pretty exhaustively at all the options. Important to note is that where we are is in accordance with what we said we would do before the tournament.

“Doing that on this scale, so many teams to move around, and to be able to deliver safely the exit of 12 teams, we couldn’t guarantee contingency plans consistently. If we can’t do it for all, we can’t do it for any.”