Japan v Scotland: Stadium inspection is now underway, organisers "optimistic"

The Yokohama International Stadium, venue for Japan v Scotland. Picture: Koki Nagahama/Getty Images
The Yokohama International Stadium, venue for Japan v Scotland. Picture: Koki Nagahama/Getty Images
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A detailed venue inspection at Yokohama International Stadium is underway to determine if the Japan-Scotland game can go ahead on Sunday in the wake of a destructive typhoon.

Organisers said an announcement will be made at the conclusion of the process.

World Rugby Chief Operating Officer and Tournament Director Alan Gilpin said he was "optimistic" the game would go ahead in Yokohama.

However, the Pool B game between Canada and Namibia was cancelled early on Sunday Japanese time because an evacuation order remained in place in the Kamaishi area where the game was set to be played and there had been landslides and flooding in the vicinity of the stadium following Typhoon Hagibis.

Gilpin said: “The safety of teams, fans, volunteers and workforce is our number one priority. Following strong direction from the Prefecture of Iwate and the City of Kamaishi, we were left with no option but to cancel the [Canada v Namibia] match on safety grounds.

“We have been liaising closely with the city and the venue over the past 24 hours and have informed the teams. In line with the direction of the local authorities, we are making the difficult, but right decision to cancel the match.

“Our hearts go out to the teams and also their fans, but also the people of Kamaishi, who have been incredible during what has been a special journey in recent years. Nobody will be more disappointed than them, but also nobody would have better empathy with the decision.

“We remain optimistic that Sunday’s remaining matches will go ahead as scheduled in Kumamoto, Hanazono and Yokohama, which are much further south and therefore outside of the impact of the storm conditions this morning.”

Organisers then announced that the Pool C match between USA and Tonga in Hanazono and the Pool D match between Wales and Uruguay in Kumamoto will go ahead as scheduled on Sunday.

Canada v Namibia was the third game to be cancelled at the tournament, following the early decision to call off scheduled games on Saturday between New Zealand and Italy in Toyota and England against France in Yokohama. The cancellations are unprecedented in Rugby World Cup tournaments.

Scotland need a win over unbeaten Japan to have any chance of reaching the quarter-finals.

If the game is cancelled, both teams get two competition points and Japan will advance to the knockout stage for the first time. That game is scheduled to kick off at 7:45pm local time (11.45am BST).