The Latest: Scotland rebuked by World Rugby
TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Day 22 at the Rugby World Cup (all times local):
World Rugby has rebuked Scotland for trying to force Rugby World Cup organizers to guarantee its decisive pool match with host Japan is played on Sunday.
Scotland needs to beat unbeaten Japan to reach the quarterfinals, while Japan could advance to its first quarterfinal with a draw. The match is scheduled for Yokohama, which is expected to be hit hard on Saturday by Typhoon Hagibis.
The two matches in the area on Saturday, New Zealand-Italy and France-England, were cancelled for safety reasons. Cancelled matches are logged as draws in the standings.
The Scots reacted with a statement expecting “contingency plans” from organizers to ensure their pool game goes ahead, despite there being no allowance for contingency plans for any pool games that have to be called off. The Scots then reportedly threatened legal action on Friday if their match with Japan is cancelled.
“It is disappointing that the Scottish Rugby Union should make such comments,” World Rugby said in a statement, “at a time when we are doing everything we can to enable all Sunday’s matches to take place as scheduled, and when there is a real and significant threat to public safety owing to what is predicted to be one of the largest and most destructive typhoons to hit Japan since 1958.”
World Rugby noted that Scotland, like all other 19 teams, signed the terms of participation agreeing that if a match can’t be played on the day it is scheduled, then it will not be postponed to the following day and will be considered cancelled.
The governing body said it looked into breaking the terms and rescheduling all eight matches from Friday to Sunday, but “the complexity of team movements for eight matches, meant that an even-handed application was just not possible without putting safety at risk. Therefore, it was the fair and correct decision for all teams to maintain the position outlined in the terms of participation.”
World Rugby said it wouldn’t comment further because “we are fully focused on the safety of everyone and this weekend’s matches.”