Rugby World Cup: What does powerful Super Typhoon Hagibis mean for England and Scotland?

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The Rugby World Cup launched in Japan on September 20 and will run until November 2. It is the first time the tournament has ever been held in Asia and outside the traditional heartland of the rugby union. But it has been far from smooth sailing as a potentially deadly super typhoon threatens to force the matches to be cancelled. 

Super Typhoon Hagibis is located near latitude 21.2 north, longitude 139.6 east and is moving northeastwards at almost 7mph (6kts).

According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the storm has maximum sustained winds of 161mph (140kts) and gusts of 196mph (170kts).

It is the strongest storm currently on the planet and is barrelling towards Japan, particularly the Tokyo region.

The National Weather Service in Guam has reported the storm is located roughly 665 miles north northwest of Guam and around 900 miles south southwest of Japan.

A weather service spokesperson said: “Hagibis is expected to track towards the north-northwest through Saturday morning before turning northeast along the east coast of Japan.

“A gradual increase in forward motion is also expected through the weekend.”

What does the barrelling super typhoon mean for the Rugby World Cup matches this weekend?

On its current forecast path, Super Typhoon Hagibis is subject to extensive change.

However, it is thought the storm will likely make landfall in the south of Honhsu on Saturday or Sunday,

The typhoon will likely weaken as it approaches land, but it will remain “very strong”.

Under the Rugby World Cup rules, if matches wre cancelled, the result is declared a draw.

However, they could also be moved to a new stadium.

Organisers could move the matches away from where the worst of the storm is predicted to hit, potentially the Oita stadium.

Oita is a much smaller venue with space for around 40,000 spectators rather than 72,327 at Yokohama.

It may be possible that the matches could delayed by 24 hours but, according to the tournament rules, it is not possible to postpone pool-stage matches to another day.

If both matches are cancelled, this would also result in a draw, with two points awarded to each team.

In terms of the competition, both England and France are currently vying for the top spot in Pool C, having both already qualified for the quarter-finals.

But if their match is cancelled, England would progress as winners.

The English team would then probably play against Australia in the quarter-final while Wales is expected to top their group and therefore play France.

A cancellation would be much worse for Scotland as the team needs to win to progress to the next stage.

If Ireland beat Samoa in Fukuoka on Saturday a weather-enforced two-point addition would mean they finish third in Pool A and go home.

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