Thursday, 10 October 2019 05:59

World Rugby has cancelled the All Blacks game against Italy in Toyota City on Saturday due to Super Typhoon Hagibis, which is set to batter Yokohama and nearby Tokyo with 270kmh winds.

Hagibis, which has been gaining force over the Pacific, is expected to make landfall on the main islands of Kyushi, Shikoku and Honshu in Japan at the weekend.

New Zealand and Italy, who have never beaten the All Blacks will be awarded two competition points each.

England versus France has also been cancelled, leaving England top of their pool. It is the first time in 32-years of World Cups that any game has been cancelled.

The All Blacks will now finish at the top of their pool on 15 points, one ahead of South Africa, who they beat 23-13 on the first weekend of the RWC.

In an email to rights holding broadcasters, World Rugby said the typhoon is due to hit Tokyo, Yokohama and City of Toyota areas.

The decision to cancel the two games would not adversely affect the tournament as New Zealand, England and France would all still make the quarterfinals. South Africa will be the other team to qualify from Pool B.

However, Scotland's decider against Japan is expected to go ahead in Yokohama 24 hours later and Japan will qualify top of the group should they win with Ireland in second place.