Canada rugby players have helped with recovery efforts after landslides and flooding cancelled their match against Namibia.
The Rugby World Cup match in Kamaishi was called off after Super Typhoon Hagibis saw torrential rain and tornado-like winds hit large parts of Japan.
At least 18 people have died, and Japan has deployed tens of thousands of troops and rescue workers.
With the Pool B match cancelled, Canada’s players instead joined in with recovery efforts around the stadium.
Former England international turned commentator Ben Kay said: “This is fantastic @RugbyCanada — I think you guys have always got the rugby spirit better than anyone.”
— Ben Kay (@BenKay5) October 13, 2019
After the announcement was made that the match was to be cancelled, Team Canada wrote on Twitter: “We respect the decision made by the Rugby World Cup, but are disappointed to miss out on this opportunity to compete. Thanks to all for your support throughout out #RWC2019 campaign & wish all visitors and residents safety during Typhoon Hagibis.
We have welcomed the opportunity to compete against some of the world’s best rugby nations, and will benefit from this valuable experience as we continue to put in the work necessary to build a better future for rugby in Canada (3/3) ?? #RugbyCA #RWC2019
— Rugby Canada (@RugbyCanada) October 12, 2019
“We have welcomed the opportunity to compete against some of the world’s best rugby nations, and will benefit from this valuable experience as we continue to put in the work necessary to build a better future for rugby in Canada.”
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont had the following to say: “On behalf of World Rugby, our thoughts and sympathies are with everyone in Japan at this difficult time.
“Japan has proven to be the warmest, the best of Rugby World Cup hosts. We stand together with you in solidarity.
“Such devastation and threat to human life places everything into stark perspective and, while we have been doing everything we can to ensure Rugby World Cup 2019 matches take place as scheduled, the bigger picture of wellbeing and safety is far more important.
“As a reflection of the global rugby family’s solidarity with the people of Japan and all those impacted by the typhoon, we will observe a moment’s silence at all of today’s matches.”
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