Scottish wants World to devise “contingency plans” in the event Scotland’s crucial final World Cup Pool A fixture against Japan is called off.

Gregor Townsend’s side face being eliminated from the tournament as they currently lie third in the group.

Two Saturday fixtures have already been declared draws on safety grounds with Typhoon Hagibis forecast to hit Japan.

“We will work to ensure our fixture against Japan on Sunday can be played as planned,” the SRU stated.

But a final decision on Scotland’s game in Yokohama will not be made until the morning of Sunday’s match, seemingly ruling out any rescheduling.

Scotland, whose head coach, Gregor Townsend, will speak at a Thursday media conference at 08:00 BST, lie third in their group and need to defeat Japan – and take four more points than the hosts – to progress to the knock-out stage.

Each team in Saturday’s cancelled matches – New Zealand v Italy and England v France – have received two points.

Such a scenario would almost certainly see Scotland knocked out of the World Cup, with Ireland – should they beat Samoa – and hosts Japan advancing to the knockout stages.

While Scotland’s governing body’s statement added that “public safety is the clear priority,” it stated: “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.”

Scottish Rugby strongly believes there are other avenues to be explored and the integrity of the competition should be protected.

Those could include playing Sunday’s match later in the day, the following day, or changing the venue of the match.

While the matches already cancelled have been declared draws, there are provisions in the tournament participation agreement on “force majeure”, which includes a “storm or tempest”, concerning matches that cannot be played.

World Rugby’s statement earlier on Thursday gave no indication that any alternatives were being considered other than the match being staged in Yokohama on Sunday.

“The decision to cancel matches has not been taken lightly and has been made in the best interests of public, team, tournament personnel and volunteer safety, based on expert advice and detailed weather information,” the statement said.

“Every effort is being made to ensure Sunday’s matches will be played as scheduled. A thorough assessment of venues will take place after the typhoon has passed before a final decision is made ‪on Sunday morning.

“Based on the advice of government authorities and experts, World Rugby and the Japan Rugby 2019 organising committee are advising fans in the Tokyo, Yokohama and City of areas to stay indoors on Saturday, not to travel.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here