By Liam Heagney of

World Rugby has hit out at suggestions by Scotland rugby boss Mark Dodson that they will take legal action if their match versus Japan on Sunday doesn't go ahead because of Typhoon Hagibis.

The tournament organisers have called off two of Saturday's three matches and placed a question mark over the Scottish-Japanese game in Tokyo the following day.

That led to Dodson stating: "World Rugby is pointing us back to the participation agreement. We've had legal opinion – from a leading QC – that challenges World Rugby's interpretation."


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However, World Rugby have now issued a statement of clarification taking the SRU boss to task for what they described as disappointing comments.

"It is disappointing that the Scottish Rugby Union should make such comments at a time when we are doing everything we can to enable all Sunday's matches to take place as scheduled, and when there is a real and significant threat to public safety owing to what is predicted to be one of the largest and most destructive typhoons to hit Japan since 1958," the World Rugby statement read.

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"Along with the 19 other teams, the Scottish Rugby Union signed the Rugby World Cup 2019 terms of participation, which clearly state in Section 5.3: 'Where a pool match cannot be commenced on the day in which it is scheduled, it shall not be postponed to the following day, and shall be considered as cancelled. In such situations, the result shall be declared a draw and teams will be allocated two match points each and no score registered.'

"As outlined during Thursday's media conference in Tokyo, the core principle that could enable us to explore a departure from the terms of participation, is a fair and consistent application of the rescheduling for all teams in a safe environment for teams, fans and essential match services.

"The sheer predicted scale and impact of the typhoon, and the complexity of team movements for eight matches, meant that an even-handed application was just not possible without putting safety at risk. Therefore, it was the fair and correct decision for all teams to maintain the position outlined in the terms of participation.

"It would be inappropriate to make further comment at a time when we are fully focused on the safety of everyone and this weekend's matches."

This article first appeared on and is republished with permission