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England v France and New Zealand v Italy OFF as Typhoon causes chaos


The Rugby World Cup is going to suffer serious disruption with cancelled games because of Typhoon Hagibis, which is to hit Japan this weekend.

Ireland's game against Samoa will proceed in Fukuoka on Saturday, but the final Pool stage matches between England and France and New Zealand and Italy are off.

It means England will top Pool C ahead of France and New Zealand will top Pool B ahead of South Africa.

A decision on the staging of Sunday's showdown between hosts Japan and Scotland will be made on the day, once the impact of the typhoon is known. A call on that needs to be made at least six hours before kick-off.

If that match in Yokohama was called off, Japan would qualify as Pool A winners, Ireland would finish second and Scotland would go home.

This is all provided that Ireland beat Samoa.

Scotland have issued a statement:

"Scottish Rugby fully expects contingency plans to be put in place to enable Scotland to contest for a place in the quarter-finals on the pitch, and will be flexible to accommodate this."

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt will name his starting 15 at 8am Irish time this morning.

Robbie Henshaw is set for his first start of the tournament at centre as Ireland look to field 12 of the starters that faced Scotland in the opening game.

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