It was midday in Japan (5 hours in France), when the International Federation and the organizers formalized a historic decision. Due to the scheduled arrival of Typhoon Hagibis, one of the most powerful of the last decades in the region, two games have been canceled: France – England scheduled to Yokohama and Italy – New Zealand scheduled to Toyota. A decision will be taken Sunday morning for Japan – Scotland.
In the hotel des Bleus, Fabien Galthie, the assistant coach of the Blues, welcomed the news with circumspection. "Two weeks without play", was quickly the conclusion drawn by the members of the XV of France. "At this rate we will play the final on December 5," slipped Laurent Labit, deputy Jacques Brunel.
France – England will not take place on Saturday and each team will be awarded the two points of a 0-0 draw. This does not change anything in the ranking of the pool and thus officializes the second place of the Blues. The quarter-final, against the Welsh, which is still a match against Uruguay Sunday, will take place Sunday, October 20, at 4:15 pm (9:15 am French time) in Oita.
It was in Oita, where the organizers had planned to relocate the Crunch. Finally, for security reasons, they gave up. "Even with all possible efforts to put an emergency plan in place to play Saturday's games, it would be irresponsible to leave the teams, supporters, volunteers and members exposed during what should be a major typhoon. ", Said World Rugby.
The Federation adds, "We are fully aware that the supporters of England, France, New Zealand and Italy will be disappointed, but we hope they will understand that their safety is the priority. Their tickets will be fully refunded. "
In a statement sent to the media, then read seriously, in the lobby of the hotel by Serge Simon, head of the French team "the FFR invites all supporters in the area affected by the Typhoon to respect the instructions communicated by the local authorities, the French Embassy in Japan and World Rugby. (…) Beyond the consequences for the organization of the World Cup, the FFR hopes that the repercussions on the country and the affected populations will be the least important possible. "