Former All Blacks halfback Justin Marshall believes the teams whose games haven't been called off due to Typhoon Hagibis will be better off in the long run at the Rugby World Cup.

The All Blacks' match against Italy scheduled to be played tonight was cancelled - part of a number of matches expected to be affected by the storm, due to the venues' proximity with its predicted path.

However, with some title contenders still expected to play this weekend, Marshall told the Radio Sport Breakfast it would put those sides in a better position for the knockout stages.

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"The teams that are still playing as they'd prepared throughout the tournament, I think they're better off.

"It's a big momentum thing. The one issue I guess if you're putting a New Zealand cap on is since the South African game, they have rotated and given players opportunities that otherwise wouldn't get opportunities and they were very much, I would suggest, targeting this game to roll out their number one side out so they could get some momentum into the quarter-final. Now they don't have that opportunity.

"It means they haven't really got any consistency so they have to go in pretty cold."

England's match against France scheduled to be played tonight was also called off, with Japan's pivotal clash with Scotland and Namibia's clash with Canada also at risk of being affected.

Wales' match against Uruguay in Kumamoto City and the USA's match against Tonga in Higashiosaka City tomorrow are expected to go ahead.

Typhoon Hagibis' path looks set to through the heart of Tokyo, Yokohama and Chiba on Saturday night, before heading back out to sea to the west of the country.

The weather system – which Japanese officials fear could be the most damaging in almost 60 years – is expected to bring record-breaking rain and wind to parts of the nation hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup; including Tokyo and Toyota City, where the All Blacks had been scheduled to play Italy tonight.

Latest information released by Japan's Meteorological Agency has revealed the typhoon has average wind speeds of 162km/h and wind gusts topping 234km/h.

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