Rugby World Cup 2019: Scotland wait for storm safety inspection

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Scotland must beat Japan to reach the quarter finals if the match in Yokohama goes ahead
Rugby World Cup Pool A: Japan v Scotland
Venue: International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama Date: Sunday, 13 October Kick-off: 11:45 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland, Radio 5 Live, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.

World Rugby “remain optimistic” that Scotland’s World Cup match with Japan on Sunday will go ahead, despite cancelling Namibia’s clash with Canada.

Scotland will be eliminated from the World Cup if the Pool A finale is cancelled on safety grounds because of Typhoon Hagibis, with a switch of dates already ruled out.

A cancellation would result in the match being declared a draw.

An inspection of the stadium began at 22:00 BST on Saturday.

Namibia and Canada in Kamaishi was called off on safety grounds, though it is around 350 miles north of Yokohama, where Scotland against Japan is due to take place.

In a statement, World Rugby said: “We remain optimistic that Sunday’s remaining matches will go ahead as scheduled in Kumamoto, Hanazono and Yokohama, which are much further south and therefore outside of the impact of the storm conditions this morning.”

The host nation lead Scotland by four points after three victories, while group rivals Ireland have secured their place in the last eight with a bonus-point win over Samoa.

If the match gets the green light, Scotland must take four more points than the host nation to progress to the quarter finals.

A World Rugby spokesman said: “Our primary consideration is the safety of everyone.

“We will undertake detailed venue inspections as soon as practically possible with an announcement following as soon as decisions are made in the morning.

“Our message to fans continues be stay indoors today, stay safe and monitor official Rugby World Cup social and digital channels.”

The New Zealand v Italy and England v France games scheduled for Saturday were cancelled.

World Rugby rules state that “where a pool match cannot be commenced on the day in which it is scheduled, it shall not be postponed to the following day and shall be considered as cancelled. In such situations, the result shall be allocated two points each and no score registered”.

Scottish Rugby has argued for the match to be switched to Monday and believes it has a legal case against the game’s governing body if it does not go ahead.

“Right from the get go, we said we will play any place, anywhere, behind closed doors, in full stadiums,” said Scottish Rugby’s chief executive Mark Dodson.

When it looked like Ireland’s game against Samoa on Saturday would fall victim to Hagibis, Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend said: “The Ireland game cannot be postponed, it has to be played that day.”

Scotland got off to a dismal start in Japan as they were beaten 27-3 by Ireland in their Pool A opener but bounced back-to-back with bonus point wins without conceding a single score against Samoa and Russia.

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