Furious Scotland are on a collision course with World Rugby as insiders warned that the integrity of the World Cup is at stake if their match against Japan is cancelled.

Their final pool A match against the hosts will go ahead on Sunday in Yokohama as Japan braces itself for Typhoon Hagibis, which is due to hit Tokyo tomorrow.

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An inspection will take place six hours before kick-off to determine whether the match can go ahead.

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After World Rugby confirmed that there were no further contingency plans in place, a cancellation would result in the match being declared a 0-0 draw which would almost certainly eliminate Gregor Townsend's side from the tournament.

"We are in regular dialogue with World Rugby at all levels to work to ensure our fixture against Japan on Sunday can be played as planned," a Scottish Rugby spokesman said.

"Public safety is the clear priority.

"With potential impact on our last Pool A fixture, Scottish Rugby fully expects contingency plans to be put in place to enable Scotland to contest for a place in the quarter-finals on the pitch, and will be flexible to accommodate this."


This statement seemed to directly contradict tournament director Alan Gilpin who speaking at a press conference earlier pointedly said that there were no contingency plans in place for Scotland v Japan, having already cancelled the England v France and Italy v New Zealand matches. Italy could technically have qualified for the knockout stages with a bonus-point victory.

"We looked pretty exhaustively at all the options," Gilpin said.

"It is important to note that where we are is in accordance with what we said we would do before the tournament. Doing that on this scale, so many teams to move around, and to be able to deliver safely the exit of 12 teams, we couldn't guarantee contingency plans consistently. If we can't do it for all, we can't do it for any.

"We have looked again at the potential to apply some consistency to our contingency plan across all the games and we treat all the matches fairly. Italy are in the same position as Scotland are in. It is a huge match and we would be loving to play that game. But we won't treat that match any different."

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Privately, Scottish officials are convinced that World Rugby would be in breach of their own regulations if they cancelled the match. They have warned that the integrity of the tournament is at stake. Although regulation five states that matches can be cancelled, it also states an "overriding imperative should be for the match to be played". The regulation also states matches can be delayed or postponed.

There are provisions under clause 8.4.1 around a "force majeure" event which includes a "storm or tempest" if a match cannot be staged. Terms and conditions around World Cup tickets state that matches can be rescheduled due to storms.

Scotland are still hoping that the game will be played on October 13 or at least pushed back 24 hours to Yokohama or an alternative venue.