Ireland’s World Cup destiny could be taken out of their hands due to a typhoon that could see their final Pool A clash with Samoa called off.
Typhoon Hagibis has formed in the Western Pacific Ocean off the south coast of Japan, with forecasts suggesting it could hit the island of Kyushu this weekend.
Ireland face Samoa in the Kyushu city of Fukuoka on Saturday, where Joe Schmidt’s men need a bonus-point victory to seal a place in the quarter-finals.
But Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell believes World Rugby are as keen as Ireland to see Saturday’s Pool A clash with Samoa completed.
Farrell confirmed World Rugby had been in touch and that there are contingency plans in place to ensure the match goes ahead, which could even include moving venue.
“The boys haven’t even spoken about it – we just go from day to day, get on with our preparations,” said Farrell.
There was positive news from Andy Farrell today as he confirmed that @JordiMurphy has responded well to treatment and is expected to resume full training on Thursday. #TeamOfUs #ShoulderToShoulder #IREvSAM https://t.co/vFXlD8bpOc
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) October 7, 2019
“World Rugby has been in touch with us and they are as keen as we are to get this game played.
“I believe there’s a contingency plan in place. We just get on with our day job and best prepare every single day and we’ll see what comes with that. The weather forecast changes all the time anyway. So we won’t probably know until 48 hours out from the game.”
Any games cancelled at the World Cup due to weather problems are registered as scoreless draws.
Previous predictions of typhoons hitting Japan and disrupting the tournament have so far proved wide of the mark. Typhoon Mitag had threatened France’s clash with the USA in Fukuoka last week, but the match was completed without issue.
World Rugby is monitoring the situation and will issue further updates as the situation develops.
“We are currently monitoring the development of a typhoon off the south coast of Japan in partnership with our weather information experts,” said a World Rugby spokesman.
I got to spend a few days with him and his incredible family and hear him talk how he went from dying 3 times in the ambulance to now climbing mountains. This is Ed Jackson’s ‘Exceptional Story’ pic.twitter.com/1ckp6h3ed6
— Jim Hamilton (@jimhamilton4) October 6, 2019
“It is still too early to determine what, if any, impact there will be on match or training activities.”
Wales complete their Pool D programme by tackling Uruguay next Sunday in Kumamoto, which is less than 70 miles from Fukuoka.
Asked about the possibility of adverse weather later this week, Wales head coach Warren Gatland said: “There is nothing you can do about that.
“I don’t want to waste any negative energy on something that I can’t change. We’ve had some updates in the past from World Rugby about potential weather stuff and we will deal with that when it comes.
“We won’t be thinking about that. If things change, we will deal with it at the time.”
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