Typhoon threatens France v USA, could help England's push for World Cup playoffs
A typhoon is threatening to force a cancellation of the World Cup clash between France and the United States in Fukuoka on Wednesday.
A statement released by World Rugby on Monday said it was monitoring Typhoon Mitag, which is developing off the south-west coast of Japan, near the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium which is set to host the Pool C encounter in two days’ time.
“Based on the latest information from our weather information provider and the Japan Meteorological Agency, the typhoon could bring high winds and heavy rain to the southern island of Kyushu on 2 October, possibly impacting the France versus USA match at Fukuoka,” the official tournament website said.
“The latest information indicates that the typhoon is moving further away from Japan’s coastline than originally predicted and the impact risk is reducing.
“However, in the best interests of the teams and the integrity of the tournament, we have informed France and the USA of the contingency plans in the event that adverse weather means that it is not possible to play the match in Fukuoka on the scheduled date.”
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Cancelled matches at the World Cup are listed as 0-0 draws, which would be a blow for France, who are expected to pick up a bonus point victory over the USA.
Should the match be called off, Les Bleus would instead share just two competition points with the Eagles as is standard with a draw, which would see them miss out on an extra three expected points.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 29, 2019
Such a result would blow the pool open and hand Argentina a lifeline following their dramatic 23-21 defeat to France in Tokyo last week.
Furthermore, the result would further solidify England’s standing at the top of the group after having secured back-to-back bonus point wins over Tonga and the USA.
A bonus point win would put France in second place in the pool with nine points, three clear of Argentina and one behind England with all three teams having played the same number of matches.
A draw, however, would keep them in third place and outside of a quarter-final berth, as they would fall short on points difference despite being level with Argentina on competition points.
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