Fans have been left disappointed by the news that World Rugby has cancelled two matches this weekend due to the impending Typhoon Hagibis.
One of the matches affected by the storm is England’s highly-anticipated clash with France.
England head coach Eddie Jones informed the media that his side had been notified of the cancellation, confirming that the decision was out of their control. Jones also expressed sympathy for the English fans who have travelled to Japan.
“We found out officially this morning but there were rumours flying around last night and we were glued to our phones. We are preparing for the game and we were in game mode and when it was off, we are in preparation mode.
“We can’t control it and we are told what to do.”
“I have just been walking around the streets and there are a lot of people with disappointed faces. It is difficult for them because it was going to be a special occasion and we feel for them and we are lucky to have such great supporters.”
However, while it is disappointed for both fans and players that the match won’t go ahead, Jones has put a positive spin on the situation. England now have a two-week break before their quarter-final tie.
“We are excited about the prospect of having great preparation for the quarter-final now.
“We have a fairly exceptional record in two-week preparations. We are batting at around 95 per cent and so we have to find five per cent from somewhere.
“Of course, everyone is disappointed we are not to play France and we put in a lot of work – emotional, physical and tactical – but we don’t control the situation and World Rugby has made a decision and we have no issue with it and are just getting on with it.
“Two weeks is the preparation we have so why worry about it. We are prepared to take it.”
Jones confirmed that his squad will be off to Miyazaki for a short pre-season camp before their quarter-final match.
Jones jokingly claimed the squad’s love of Miyazaki beef was the reasoning behind the move while also alluding to the relatively easy run England have had in the World Cup thanks to the fixture schedule and impending weather warnings.
“We love Miyazaki beef. We have 80kg of a special consignment coming Saturday night. Billy (Vunipola) is allowed his beef again.
“We will do a bit of light training Friday, a good hit out on Saturday and a few beers, some beef and get ready for the week ahead.
“We are not concerned at all, we are excited. Who would have thought we would have two relatively easy games, one tough game and then two weeks to prepare for a quarter-final? Someone is smiling on us. The typhoon gods maybe.”