Rugby World Cup: Plans in place to move Ireland Samoa match if typhoon hits

Part of contingency plan could be to move fixture to Sunday at the same stadium

Jordi Murphy goes off injured during Ireland’s win over Russia. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Jordi Murphy goes off injured during Ireland’s win over Russia. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Plans are afoot to move the Ireland versus Samoa match from Fukuoka - to an undisclosed location - should Typhoon Hagibis hit Kyushu Island.

The south western most Japanese land mass is currently in Hagibis’s - which means “velocity” - path.

Part of the contingency plan could be to shift the fixture from Saturday to Sunday, and keeping it at Hakatanomori stadium, hours before Japan face Scotland in Yokohama at 7.45pm.

“We are monitoring the development of a typhoon off the south coast of Japan in partnership with our weather information experts,” stated World Rugby. “It is still too early to determine what, if any impact there will be on match, but we will provide an update later today.

“We have a robust contingency programme for such an event.” Typhoon Mitag almost forced alternative plans for France versus USA in Fukuoka on October 2nd, but the match was completed without issue.

Ireland’s defence coach Andy Farrell stated at Monday’s media gathering: “World Rugby has been in touch with us and they are as keen as we are to get this game played. I believe there’s a contingency plan in place. We just get on with our day job and best prepare every single day. And we’ll see what comes with that.”

Movement of a fixture has to be made 48 hours before kick-off (so Thursday morning Irish time). In the event of a postponement the game will be registered as a 0-0 draw.

Meanwhile, Jordi Murphy is not being sent home despite popping a rib against Russia last Thursday, but the Ulster backrow remains doubtful for Saturday’s final Pool A match.

“It’s annoying but you can play on with them,” said Murphy. “I trained a little today and I hope to train fully on Thursday. If selected I’d love to play.”

Currently, Ireland have four available backrowers. Peter O’Mahony has started all three matches against Scotland, Japan and Russia, while CJ Stander started two and was forced to feature for 54 minutes against Russia when Murphy was injured.

The versatile Irish locks, Tadhg Beirne and Iain Henderson are options at blindside flanker.

On Joey Carbery’s availability, Farrell stated: “He’s flying, he’s in a great place. The best place I’ve seen him over the last few weeks. He was running around with a proper spring in his step. He’s in great spirits and he’s ready to go.”

Although someone like Garry Ringrose - the only Irish player to play all 240 minutes thus far - is expected to be rested as Robbie Henshaw returns, Farrell ruled out ‘wrapping players in cotton wool’ with Joe Schmidt already indicating that Johnny Sexton will play 60 minutes.

“It’s definitely not an option. This game is super important to us. We are fully in. We are after our best performance of the competition.”

Henshaw is training again after the hamstring tear with Chris Farrell returning to full contact on Tuesday after suffering concussion against Japan. Again, that points towards a midfield trio of Sexton, Bundee Aki and Henshaw at outside centre.

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