wo Rugby World Cup matches scheduled for Saturday have been canceled on safety grounds as Super Typhoon Hagibis approaches Japan, tournament organizers announced at a press conference on Thursday.
The Pool B match between New Zealand and Italy in the city of Toyota, and the Pool C match between England and France in Tokyo, are so far the only games affected.
The games will not be rescheduled and two points will be awarded to each team, in line with tournament rules, organizers said.
It means England progress as winners of Pool C, two points ahead of France in second place, and face a probable quarter-final against Australia, with Wales expected to top Pool D and therefore play the French.
France would have the advantage over Wales of a two-week rest, compared to one week.
“The decision to cancel matches has not been taken lightly,” said tournament director Alan Gilpin.
Ireland’s match with Samoa in Fukuoka is expected to go ahead as scheduled.
The typhoon, described as the biggest of the year, is set to wreak havoc in Tokyo and surrounding areas.