Tournament director of the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Alan Gilpin (2nd L) and Japan Rugby CEO Akira Shimazu (2nd R) speak to the media, as they announce that selected games will be cancelled as typhoon Hagibis approaches, in Tokyo on October 10, 2019. Picture: WILLIAM WEST / AFP
Tournament director of the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Alan Gilpin (2nd L) and Japan Rugby CEO Akira Shimazu (2nd R) speak to the media, as they announce that selected games will be cancelled as typhoon Hagibis approaches, in Tokyo on October 10, 2019. Picture: WILLIAM WEST / AFP

Kobe — The impact of Typhoon Hagibis has been felt even before its arrival in Japan this weekend.

World Rugby announced the cancellation of two matches this weekend on the grounds of safety and public welfare.

England and France were due to clash in a pool C decider‚ but that match will no longer take place.

The All Blacks’ match against Italy has also been scrapped. In both instances the teams share the log points. The All Blacks still top the pool that also contains the Springboks.

After extensive evaluation‚ World Rugby and the Japan Rugby 2019 Organising Committee released a statement on Wednesday.

“Based on the latest detailed information from the tournament’s independent weather experts‚ Hagibis is predicted to be the biggest typhoon of the 2019 season and is highly likely to cause considerable disruption in the Tokyo‚ Yokohama and City of Toyota areas throughout Saturday‚ including likely public transport shutdown or disruption‚” it read.

“As a result‚ World Rugby and the Japan Rugby 2019 Organising Committee have taken the difficult‚ but right decision to cancel matches in the affected areas on safety grounds.

“For matches that do not go ahead as scheduled‚ two points will be awarded to each team in line with tournament rules."

The statement provided the following fixtures’ update:

• Friday‚ October 11: Pool D match between Australia and Georgia in Shizuoka at 7.15pm JST to be played as scheduled;

• Saturday‚ 12 October: Pool A match between Ireland and Samoa in Fukuoka at 7.45pm JST to be played as scheduled; Pool B match between New Zealand and Italy cancelled; Pool C match between England and France cancelled.

• Sunday‚ October 13: Every effort is being made to ensure Sunday’s matches will be played as scheduled.

The statement continued: “While we have extensively explored all options‚ public and team safety was our utmost priority as well as ensuring a consistent‚ fair and equitable outcome for all teams. All fans with tickets for a cancelled match will receive a full refund for the face value of their match tickets.”