Rugby World Cup pool stage could be disrupted as cyclone heads for Japan

Tropical Storm Faxai expected to become a typhoon; games could be moved around

Ireland open their World Cup Pool A campaign against Scotland at the Yokohama International Stadium. Photograph:  Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Ireland open their World Cup Pool A campaign against Scotland at the Yokohama International Stadium. Photograph: Matt Roberts/Getty Images

A tropical cyclone heading for Tokyo has brought into focus the potential disruption at the Rugby World Cup in Japan with the prospect of cancelled games causing havoc in the pool stage.

Tropical Storm Faxai is expected to develop into a typhoon and may hit Tokyo over the weekend or at the start of next week, around 10 days before the start of the competition. Tournament organisers have been bracing themselves for weather disruption with Japan averaging around 30 typhoons and 1,500 earthquakes a year but Faxai’s potential arrival so close to the start of the tournament demonstrates the threat posed.

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