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Typhoon Hagibis ruins the Gugby World Cup quarterfinals

The cancellation of two matches in the final part of the group stage of the Rugby World Cup It does not clarify the list of teams that will participate in the quarterfinals, with six games to go.

The organizers of the World Cup announced today that due to the typhoon Hagibis, which is expected for the next few hours in Japan, two of the three matches that were to be held on Saturday have been canceled, and the four called for Sunday are still pending check.

The canceled matches are those of New Zealand and Italy, on the one hand, which was to be played in Toyota City, in the center of the country, and that of England and France, which was to be played in Yokohama, on the southern outskirts of Tokyo.

Yes, in principle, another game will be played for Saturday, between Ireland and Samoa, in the city of Fukuoka, in the extreme southwest of Japan, an area that, it is expected, will not be as punished as the rest of the country by the arrival of the typhoon.

When those two games were canceled, the four teams involved already received two points each, which has allowed the phase to close for many of the 20 teams participating in this phase, although there are still several meetings that do not allow the teams to go to the quarterfinals.

Of the four quarterfinal matches to be played on October 19 and 20, England will play one of them, but it is still unknown whether it will be against Wales or Australia, which are framed in D.

In another match, New Zealand, triple world champion, will face the team that occupies the second place in group A, but it is still unknown if it will be Japan, Ireland or Scotland.

That group is now led by Japan, with 14 points, followed by Ireland, with 11, and Scotland, with 10, in all cases with three games.

Japan has to face Scotland this Sunday, while Ireland will do it with Samoa. The Irish have it easier, and, if the predictions are met, they will end up with 15 or 16 points, depending on the trials they mark.

But Japan has had several surprises in this tournament, including a victory against Ireland, and could go through to the quarterfinals, even with a draw, as long as Ireland tied or lost to Samoa.

For this reason, it is not yet known who South Africa will face in another of the quarterfinal matches, because it depends on the results of group A.

And in the other match, the only one defined is France, which occupied the second position in group C, and which will face the team that comes first in group D, be it Wales or Australia.

If the match between England and France had been played, the Gauls could have had the opportunity to face a different rival in case of victory against the English, because they would have ended up leading that group.

Organizers said the decision to cancel those two matches and review Sunday's matches was made after a "thorough assessment" of the impact it will have on Typhoon Hagibis in the coming hours.

"As you can imagine, the decision has not been made lightly, and takes into account the best interests in terms of safety," said the tournament director, Alan Gilpin, at the press conference where these announcements were made, in Tokyo.

For Saturday afternoon, when the canceled games were scheduled, Hagibis will hit Japan with heavy rains and maximum winds of around 126 kilometers per hour and gusts of 180 kilometers per hour.

The typhoon now has much stronger winds, but it is still far from the main islands of the Japanese archipelago, and, according to forecasts by the weather service, is expected to reach the central region of the country on Saturday.

Forecasts anticipate that this will be the biggest typhoon in Japan this season, and it is also especially dangerous due to the size of the area it affects.

At the press conference in which the cancellation of these matches was announced, the journalists asked their organizers if, taking into account conditions like these in Japan, they regret having held this tournament in Japan.

"Not at all. The last three weeks have vindicated the organization of the World Cup in Japan. We knew there would be risks, but it's rare for a typhoon to be this big at this time of year, ”Gilpin said.

EFE

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