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Typhoon threatens Scotland's rugby showdown with Japan

With Scotland needing a positive result to progress, any cancellation would see them eliminated.

Super Typhoon hagibis is forecast to hit International Stadium Yokohama.
Super Typhoon hagibis is forecast to hit International Stadium Yokohama. Getty Images

Scotland will find out on Thursday morning if their Rugby World Cup clash with Japan is to be rescheduled or cancelled.

World Rugby has called a press conference for 4am BST in which an update will be issued on this weekend's matches.

Super typhoon Hagibis is due to sweep through Yokohama, affecting the Pool C decider between England and France at International Stadium on Saturday, as well as Scotland's pivotal group showdown against Japan 24 hours later.

The options available to World Rugby are to either cancel the England v France game or move it to Oita, where the quarter-finals are being staged.

With Hagibis due to have moved on by the end of the weekend, Scotland could see their clash with Japan delayed by 24 hours but played at the same venue.

The sport's global governing body has refused to outline its plans before the press conference amid conflicting reports over what has been decided.

Any games cancelled due to weather problems are registered as scoreless draws. With Scotland needing a positive result against Japan to progress, any cancellation would see them eliminated from the tournament.

Speaking before news of World Rugby's media conference, Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend said: "I checked the weather app (on Wednesday morning), about eight hours ago, and it did look like it was heading into Tokyo this weekend, unless it has changed since then.

"It is a few days away and it could miss the Tokyo area, or it could still go there and obviously we'll be getting updates from World Rugby in the next two days as to what the contingencies are.

"We've had contact to say there will be an update over the next 24 to 48 hours, so I'm sure that alternative venues and arrangements are being looked at not just for our game but the other games that could be affected by it. England and France play in the same stadium the night before.

"I know it was getting looked at for the Ireland game as well when the forecast was that it was going to Fukuoka."

The storm which was on Wednesday described by the Japanese Meteorological Agency as "violent" has escalated into a Category 5 super typhoon with winds reaching 180mph in one of the most dramatic intensification of any tropical cyclone since records began.

It is many times the dimensions of Typhoon Faxai, which brought Tokyo to a standstill for the day of England's arrival for the World Cup, delaying their exit from Narita Airport by six hours, killing three people and leaving a million homes without power.

Satellite images of the extreme weather event reveal that it is the size of Japan and shows no sign of either deviating from its path or decreasing in magnitude.

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