Rugby World Cup: Namibia v Canada clash off but hopes high for Sunday’s other games

Kamaishi area suffered landslides and flooding during Typhoon Hagibis

Surging waves generated by Typhoon Hagibis hit the seashore in Mihama, Mie Prefecture on Saturday. Photograph:  Franck Robichon/EPA

Surging waves generated by Typhoon Hagibis hit the seashore in Mihama, Mie Prefecture on Saturday. Photograph: Franck Robichon/EPA

 

The Pool B clash between Namibia and Canada in Kamaishi has been cancelled following Typhoon Hagibis but Rugby World Cup organisers are confident Sunday’s remaining matches will go ahead.

The match did not have any implication for qualification, with the two sides sitting at the bottom of the group.

A statement on rugbyworldcup.com read: “Kamaishi is situated in a highly mountainous area, including mountains directly behind the main stand of the stadium.

“There have been landslides and flooding in the vicinity of the stadium and along access roads to the venue following torrential rain throughout the night.

“The safety of all involved in Rugby World Cup 2019 is our primary consideration and fans are advised not to travel to Kamaishi or the venue, which will be closed.”

The big match of the day is due to take place in Yokohama, with Scotland facing hosts Japan with a qualifying spot at stake.

World Rugby chief operating officer and tournament director Alan Gilpin said: “The safety of teams, fans, volunteers and workforce is our number one priority.

“Following strong direction from the Prefecture of Iwate and the City of Kamaishi, we were left with no option but to cancel the match on safety grounds.

“We remain optimistic that Sunday’s remaining matches will go ahead as scheduled in Kumamoto, Hanazono and Yokohama, which are much further south and therefore outside of the impact of the storm conditions this morning.”

Inspections of the venues were under way early on Sunday morning.

World Rugby confirmed that Sunday’s games between Wales and Uruguay in Kumamoto and USA and Tonga in Hanazono would go ahead as scheduled.

“The decision was taken following an assessment of the venue and associated infrastructure this morning in partnership with the respective host cities,” World Rugby said.

“World Rugby and the Japan Rugby 2019 organising committee would like to thank everyone involved in getting the matches on.

“A detailed assessment is under way at Yokohama International Stadium for the Pool A match between Japan and Scotland, and an announcement will be made at the conclusion of that important process.”

SUNDAY’S REMAINING FIXTURES (Irish time)

Pool C: USA v Tonga, Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Higashiosaka City, 6.45am Pool D: Wales v Uruguay, Kumamoto Stadium, 9.15am

Pool A: Japan v Scotland, International Stadium Yokohama, 11.45am

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