With Typhoon Hagibis already wreaking havoc on the Rugby World Cup, there are lingering fears that Sunday’s crunch clash between Scotland and Japan may be cancelled.
Of course, if this were to happen both teams would be awarded two points each and Scotland would ultimately be eliminated from rugby’s showpiece event.
However, the Scottish Rugby Union have stated in no uncertain terms that they will not accept being eliminated from the tournament because of matters off the field.
Mark Dodson, chief executive of the SRU, has gone on the record saying that Scottish Rugby will not take it lying down if the decision is taken to cancel the game.
Dodson claimed that Scotland will not be “collateral damage” and that they will fight any moves made to cancel Sunday’s pivotal clash.
Now, World Rugby have released a statement of their own condemning the SRU for their strong comments claiming they, alongside the other 19 nations, signed the terms of participation before the tournament kicked off.
The statement can be read in full below:
“It is disappointing that the Scottish Rugby union should make such comments at a time when we are doing everything we can to enable all Sunday’s matches to take place as scheduled, and when there is a real and significant threat to public safety owing to what is predicted to be one of the largest and most destructive typhoons to hit Japan since 1958.
“Along with the 19 other teams, the Scottish Rugby Union signed the Rugby World Cup 2019 terms of participation, which clearly state in Section 5.3: “Where a pool Match cannot be commenced on the day in which it scheduled, it shall not be postponed to the following day, and shall be considered as cancelled. In such situations, the result shall be declared a draw and Teams will be allocated two match points each and no score registered.”
“As outlined during Thursday’s media conference in Tokyo, the core principle that could enable us to explore a departure from the terms of participation, is a fair and consistent application of the rescheduling for all teams in a safe environment for teams, fans and essential match services. The sheer predicted scale and impact of the typhoon, and the complexity of team movements for eight matches, meant that an even-handed application was just not possible without putting safety at risk. therefore, it was the fair and correct decision for all teams to maintain the position outlined in the terms of participation.
“It would be inappropriate to make further comment at a time when we are fully focused on the safety of everyone and this weekend’s matches.”