Sergio Parisse has slammed World Rugby for having no Plan B after the decision was made to cancel their final Pool B match against New Zealand.
With Typhoon Hagabis expected to hit Japan over the coming days, World Rugby confirmed that two matches would be cancelled with both sets of teams being awarded two points each.
For Italy, the decision is tough considering that they still had an outside bet of qualifying for the quarter-finals with a win over New Zealand. However, they won’t get that opportunity anymore. Parisse claims that if the shoe was on the other foot and New Zealand needed the points then the match wouldn’t have been cancelled.
“It is difficult to know that we won’t have the chance to play a match against one of the great teams,” Parisse told reporters.
“If New Zealand needed four or five points against us it would not have been cancelled.”
Parisse slammed the decision as ridiculous citing the effect it will have on fans who have paid money to travel and support their nation. The long-serving captain also slammed World Rugby as ridiculous for not having contingency plans in place in case of an event such as this.
“We had the chance to play in a big stadium, against a great team,” Parisse said.
“It is ridiculous that a decision of this nature has been made because it isn’t like the fans arrived yesterday.
“It is ridiculous that there was no Plan B because it isn’t news that typhoons hit Japan. The alternative is Plan B. When you organise a World Cup you should have one in place.”
The Italian claimed that they need to be respected as a team before doubling down on his earlier comments that had New Zealand needed the points, the match would have gone ahead.
“Sure, everyone might think that Italy versus New Zealand being cancelled counts for nothing because we’d have lost anyway, but we deserved to be respected as a team,” the 36-year-old added.
“If Italy and New Zealand decide they don’t want to play, then fine. But as I said before, if New Zealand needed the points it wouldn’t have been cancelled.”