Rugby World Cup 2019: World Rugby 'disappointed' by Scotland's threat of legal action

By Nicholas McGee 11 October 2019
Rugby World Cup 2019: World Rugby 'disappointed' by Scotland's threat of legal action

World Rugby has expressed its disappointment after Scottish Rugby (SRU) revealed it is considering legal action to ensure Sunday's Rugby World Cup clash with Japan goes ahead.

Scotland will likely have to beat hosts Japan in Yokohama to have any chance of progressing to the knockout stages. 

However, the Pool A clash is under threat due to the approach of Typhoon Hagibis, which has already led to the cancellation of England against France and New Zealand versus Italy on Saturday, with both treated as 0-0 draws.

SRU chief executive Mark Dodson said the organisation had received a legal opinion that "unravels" the governing body's case.

Responding to Dodson's remarks, World Rugby released a statement that read: "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.

"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."

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