Ireland’s hopes of reaching the World Cup quarter-finals are being threatened by an unlikely source with a typhoon potentially set to hit southern Japan this weekend.
World Rugby are monitoring conditions as we head towards the final round of pool games this weekend, with the real possibility that Ireland’s game with Samoa on Saturday in Fukuoka on the southern island of Kyushu could be impacted.
According to weather reports Typhoon Hagibis is gathering strength in the western Pacific Ocean and is expected to hit Kyushu this weekend.
If the game is cancelled due to weather issues the result will be registered as a 0-0 draw which could see Ireland eliminated from the tournament.
That would leave Joe Schmidt’s side on 13 points, a total that Scotland could overtake with wins over Russia and Japan in their two remaining games.
However, Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell said he expected that the game would be either be rescheduled or moved rather than cancelled.
"The boys haven't even spoken about it, really," he said.
“We just go from day to day and get on with our preparations.
"World Rugby has been in touch with us and are as keen as we are to play the game.
"I believe there is a contingency plan in place but we just get on with our day job.
"The weather forecast changes the whole time anyway, so we probably won't know until 48 hours or so before."
Previous predictions of typhoons hitting Japan and disrupting the tournament have so far proved incorrect, with France’s clash with the USA going ahead as planned in Fukuoka on the second weekend despite fears that Typhoon Mitag was about to make landfall.
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