OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED | Two matches cancelled as typhoon threatens World Cup

World Cup organisers took the unprecedented step of cancelling games – England v France, and New Zealand v Italy – on Thursday as Super Typhoon Hagibis bears down on Japan.

Both games were in the projected path of the storm, which has a “violent” rating – the highest category by Japan’s weather bureau – and is due to hit on Saturday.

Sunday’s four games, including the Pool A showdown between hosts Japan and Scotland in Yokohama, remain under review, tournament director Alan Gilpin said.

World Rugby Chief Operating Officer and Tournament Director Alan Gilpin said: “This is a complex and dynamic situation which we have been monitoring extremely closely with the assistance of our weather information experts.

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“While making every possible effort to put in place a contingency plan that would enable all of Saturday’s matches to be played, it would be grossly irresponsible to leave teams, fans, volunteers and other tournament personnel exposed during what is predicted to be a severe typhoon.”

He added that safety had to be the determining factor in these decisions.

“We fully appreciate that England, France, New Zealand and Italy fans will be disappointed, but we trust they will appreciate that their safety must come first,” he said.

“They will be entitled to a full refund on their match tickets.”

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