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World Rugby 'closely monitoring' typhoon that could see Ireland dumped out of tournament

World Rugby has responded to concerns around the typhoon currently threatening to have an impact on this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The governing body issued a statement on Typhoon Hagibis this morning after it was revealed yesterday the large weather system could see powerhouse Ireland dumped out of this year's tournament.

"Our weather information experts continue to closely monitor the direction and strength of Typhoon Hagibis (Typhoon 19)," World Rugby said in a statement.

"It remains too early to fully predict the movement and impact of the storm, however the latest modelling by our weather information experts indicates that it is now tracking north and east and will bring strong winds and heavy rain to Tokyo and surrounding areas on 12 October.

"Public and team safety is our number one priority. While we have robust contingency plans in place for pool matches, such plans, if required, will only be actioned if the safety of teams, fans, and workforce can be guaranteed. It would be inappropriate to comment on any contingency plans at this stage.

"We will continue to closely monitor this developing situation in partnership with our weather information experts, local authorities, transport providers and the teams, and will provide a further update tomorrow. Fans are advised to monitor official Rugby World Cup channels for any updates."

As the impending typhoon approaches Japan's south coast, Ireland's final pool match against Manu Samoa in Fukuoka this Saturday could be in danger of a washout, which would leave both sides sharing the points, and considered a scoreless draw.

However, with Scotland currently with a game in hand over Ireland, it is conceivable that two bonus-point victories over both Japan and Russia could see Ireland slip to third and miss out on the quarter-finals altogether.

A washout in Fukuoka would see Ireland finish with 13 points from the group stage, while two hypothetical bonus point wins would mean Scotland finish with 15 and Japan with 14.

Staring at a string of events that could see Ireland on the plane home early though, defence coach Andy Farrell says that his side aren't worrying about what Typhoon Hagibis could mean.

"The boys haven't even spoken about it - we just go from day to day, get on with our preparations," Farrell told media yesterday.

"World Rugby has been in touch with us and they are as keen as we are to get this game played. I believe there's a contingency plan in place.

"We just get on with our day job and best prepare every single day and we'll see what comes with that. The weather forecast changes all the time anyway. So we won't probably know until 48 hours out from the game."

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Should their final match be called off due to weather, Ireland would be eliminated in the pool stage. Source: Breakfast