Rugby World Cup 2019, Pool C: England vs France called off as Typhoon Hagibis approaches
Saturday's Pool C fixture between England and France at the 2019 Rugby World Cup has been called off due to Typhoon Hagibis, which is set to hit the Kanto region of Japan this weekend. The match was set to take place in the port city of Yokohama.
The announcement was made at 12:00 local time on Thursday by the Rugby World Cup Organizing Committee, who are following strict instructions from the Japan Meteorological Agency, with fan safety at the forefront of the decision.
Along with dangerous weather conditions, tropical storms such as this often create horrendous public transport delays.
Yokohama Stadium, the venue assigned to hold the fixture, has a maximum capacity of 72,000. The game is reported to be a complete sell-out and it is easy to see why any issues with transit could cause unsafe congestion at nearby train stations.
The Rugby World Cup Organizing Committee has assured fans that they will receive full refunds for the tickets they have purchased to any fixtures that have been cancelled.
However, reports suggest there are still a large number of fans who are seeking redress for plane tickets and hotel costs they have incurred as a result of the cancellations.
As far as standings in Pool C are concerned, this has minimal impact on the two sides who were set to meet in Yokohama. Tournament rules state that the match is set to be declared a 0-0 draw with each side claiming two points each.
England retain their 1st place position and end the Pool on 17 points. They proceed to the quarter-finals where they are likely to face Australia.
France also remain in 2nd place, and finish with 15 points. A quarter-final match-up with Wales is the likeliest outcome.
Both sides had already secured qualification from Pool C and may not be too disappointed that the game did not go ahead. Perhaps they will view the extended rest period as an advantage over their quarter-final opponents.