Typhoon Hagibis: 70,000 to miss out on England v France Rugby clash if game MOVED – latest

Monstrous Super Typhoon Hagibis is currently packing winds of 160mph as it heads for Japan. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency the typhoon could make a direct pass over the Kanto region in Honshu, Japan’s main island. If the storm continues on its devastating path the Rugby World Cup clash between England and France could be moved or cancelled.

Hagibis, which is the most powerful cyclone in the Western Pacific so far this year, is forecast to hit Honshu on Saturday.

England will face France on Saturday, October 12 in Yokohama at 9.15am BST.

Due to the sudden change of path it now looks increasingly likely that England’s final World Cup group match against France is going to be affected by the typhoon.

Japan-based rugby journalist Rich Freeman says there are now speculation games may be moved.


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He said: “Presumably they will be played in closed stadiums as — besides logistical issues — the 70,000 scheduled to watch at Yokohama won’t fit in anywhere else.”

England defence coach John Mitchell said: “Whatever happens, we will make the best of the situation.

“We’re looking forward to playing France. Clearly if there is any change in those final preparations, we’ve got to be smart, so we’ll definitely pre-plan.

“At the end of the day you just control what you can control, so, should something happen in terms of where we play, that’s not a problem because all along we’ve focused on adapting and being flexible, being ready for any particular situation that’s thrown at us.”

Scotland play host nation Japan in the same stadium the next day and could also be affected by the storm.

Although World Rugby says it has a “robust contingency plan in place” if the weather impacts tournament fixtures, it remains to be seen what would actually happen.

The Belfast Telegraph are reporting that World Rugby are expected to release a statement on Thursday.

Alex Deakin, of the Met Office, said Typhoon Hagibis has intensified quickly.

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Mr Deakin wrote in the Telegraph: “Its core wind strength increased by over 100 miles per hour in 24 hours – right at the top of the scale we would expect.

“There is still uncertainty about where it is going to make landfall.

“Due to the geography of Japan it could be a direct hit or a glancing blow.

“If it is a glancing blow there is every chance Tokyo and nearby Yokohama could be affected.”

The meteorologist added the current forecast predicts the typhoon could contain wind speeds of 150mph when it makes landfall.

This speed in winds could easily bring down trees and cause damage to infrastructure.

It’s also expected to cause 100mm of rain and an increase to sea level.

Mr Deakin added: “Clearly it would not be ideal to hold a World Cup match in those conditions.

“The game itself would obviously be quite tricky but of more importance to the authorities would be the safety of people going to matches.

“You certainly would not want to be outside if the eye of the storm was heading your way.”

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