The meeting will be held this Sunday at 19:45 (12:45, French time) on the ground of Yokohama, on the outskirts of Tokyo. Even where should have been Saturday France-England.
The suspense lasted until morning. The Japan-Scotland match will take place in Yokohama on Sunday 13 October. The organizers have formalized its maintenance shortly before 11 am (4 am French time), or 8:45 before the kickoff. It is in this same stadium that France-England should have unfolded, the day before, finally canceled because of typhoon. Hagibis is the strongest typhoon of the season in Japan, where authorities are already reporting at least fourteen deaths.
French and English, leading the group C, were already assured to qualify for the quarter-finals even before their last group match. Only the order of the first two places would still have been likely to change, just like the identity of the opponent in the next round (a priori the Welsh for the French).
Not the same scenario in the group A, that of Japan and Scotland, where the two qualifying places still remain to be attributed. If World Rugby, the international federation, had canceled this match, it would have led from the outset the elimination of the Scots, but also the qualification of the Japanese …
Hence the current relief of the Scottish Rugby Federation, which had lobbied for the continuation of the meeting in the aftermath of the typhoon. Whether in Yokohama, on the outskirts of Tokyo, or elsewhere, in a less-affected area. And whatever the date, this Sunday or another day, she had hinted, even though the rules of the competition forbid the postponement of the first round matches. "The Scottish Federation will be able to adapt to any solution found", assured coach Gregor Townsend at a hastily convened press conference on Thursday, the day the cancellation of France-England was formalized. In the Telegraph the Scottish leaders had also hinted that they would consider legal action against World Rugby in the event of outright cancellation.
Threat "Disappointing", according to the International Federation. In a press conference, the coach of Japan, New Zealander Jamie Joseph, also criticized the attitude of the opponent. "I feel they downplayed the results of Japan's national team and the significance for Japan of Sunday's game against Scotland. " In fact, the Japanese already occupy the head of Group A after three wins in as many games, ideal configuration to hope for the first qualification of the national team in the quarterfinals. "The big difference between us and Scotland is that we are driven by a whole people, motivated by the desire to do something great, and not avoid embarrassment. " For now, Scotland has only one elimination in the first round, at the 2011 edition.
In their Sunday communique, the organizers of the tournament are also addressing the 70,000 spectators expected tonight in Yokohama:
"Entry into the stadium may be slower than usual. The catering and sale of official products will also be reduced due to lack of personnel resulting from the typhoon. "
Earlier in the morning, World Rugby also announced the continuation of two more games this Sunday. There is USA-Tonga, in Hanazono, between two teams already eliminated from group C. And Galles-Uruguay, in Kumamoto, where the only stake will reside for the Welsh in the conservation of their first place of group D.
The Canada-Namibia match, on the other hand, was canceled due to impracticable conditions. The meeting, without sporting stakes, was to be held Sunday in Kamaishi. This is the third game canceled, after France-England and New Zealand-Italy, initially scheduled Saturday, the day of the typhoon Hagibis. A decision "Ridiculous" from the point of view of the Italian captain Sergio Parisse, whose team still had a theoretical chance to qualify if it beat the All Blacks. "It's not new that typhoons hit Japan," reminded Parisse, regretting that no offshoring was provided as a last resort to avoid this cancellation.