a storm of questions for the international federation


Posted today at 10h02, updated at 16h56

"Hagibis". This word, which means "speed" in one of the idioms spoken in the Philippines, has suddenly become familiar these days to any rugby lover. Hagibis typhoon warning: The ad was circling in the weather reports. This is the nineteenth storm of the season in Japan. Potentially the strongest too. To the point of leading to cancel two games of the World Cup scheduled Saturday, October 12, closing the first round: France-England in Yokohama and New Zealand-Italy to Toyota.

The cancellation is unprecedented, in nine editions of the competition. And regrettable for World Rugby, the international federation. Its English President, Bill Beaumont, expected a "Spectacular world cup". But not in that sense.

Read also Rugby World Cup 2019: a cancellation, many questions

When Alan Gilpin announced this " difficult decision ", Thursday in Tokyo, the tournament director invoked security as "Absolute priority". "It would be extremely irresponsible to endanger the teams, supporters, volunteers and other members of the competition staff during what is reported as a high intensity typhoon. " Certainly.


But not enough to appease Italy, probably the team most recovered. His coach Ireland, Conor O'Shea, regretted this way "Horrible" to leave the competition. In theory, the Italians still had a very small chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals. It would have taken a historic victory against the three world champions New Zealand, without these register a bonus point.

"You never know what can happen on a lot. Conor O'Shea, Irish coach

" You never know what can happen on a lot, considers O'Shea, very disappointed for his players. These boys gave their lives for Italian rugby, and their World Cup ended on a training ground instead of the stadium. "

Even incomprehension on the part of the captain, Sergio Parisse, who estimates 'Ridiculous' the absence of any alternative to the current scenario. "It's not new that typhoons hit Japan," He recalls.

The rules prohibit the postponement of a match in the first round. But a little earlier in the competition, the organizers had hinted that they reserved the possibility of relocation in case of impracticable condition.


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