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“There Has To Be A Game” – Townsend Puts World Rugby Under Pressure


Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has urged World Rugby to find a contingency plan that would allow his side’s crunch clash with Japan to go ahead.

So far, two of Saturday’s fixtures have been called off due to Typhoon Hagibis while Ireland and Samoa’s clash in Fukuoka will go ahead.

Meanwhile, World Rugby have said that “every effort is being made to ensure Sunday’s matches will be played as scheduled.

“A thorough assessment of venues will take place after the typhoon has passed before a final decision is made on Sunday morning.”

Townsend Scotland

Four games are scheduled for Sunday including the pool-deciding clash between Japan and Scotland. Townsend’s side need to beat the hosts, and deny them a bonus-point, if they are to qualify for the quarter-final stages.

With so much at stake, Townsend has urged World Rugby to find any possible method for the game to go ahead.

“I hope everyone involved in the tournament wants the game to be played and will do their utmost for the game to be played.

“Maybe yesterday, when it looked like the weather was going to be rougher on Sunday, there seemed to be discussion about looking at an alternative venue. I know the situation changes a lot but what we have been told is that Sunday looks clear now. Saturday is the day when the typhoon comes in, and it comes through quite quickly.

world rugby typhoon hagibis

“I have looked at the weather and Sunday night is meant to be nice and calm. Now what may happen is infrastructure may not be in place, even though the weather is nice. We have got to believe, and have faith in the organisers, that the game will be played, even if it is behind closed doors or played at a different venue.

“The way I read the rules was you can’t change days, but you could change venues – contingencies would be in place. I have since been told there is force majeure, that things can change because of exceptional circumstances. If that means Monday because it takes a day for things to be put back in order, then who knows. But just now I think they are planning for it to go ahead on Sunday.”

Scotland currently lie in third place in Pool A on 10 points, just one point behind second-placed Ireland. Meanwhile, Japan are the table toppers for the moment on 14 points.

According to tournament rules, should the game be called off, the fixture would be recorded as a 0-0 draw and two points would be awarded to both teams.

Should Sunday’s fixture in Yokohama be cancelled, and if Ireland beat Samoa on Saturday, Scotland would be knocked out of the World Cup.

Townsend has said that it would be “unusual” for the outcome of their tournament to be decided off the pitch.

“It will make things very unusual for a World Cup in any sport to be decided by a game being called off on one day. Let’s say if you are looking out your hotel window at 5 o’clock on Sunday afternoon and it is sunny, it would be quite strange if a game couldn’t take place that day.”


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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at or on Twitter