Typhoon Hagibis sees World Rugby sides ‘duck for cover’

Typhoon Hagibis sees World Rugby sides 'duck for cover'
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Fans around the world are just seeing the velocity and extreme nature of Cyclone Hagibis, as it descends on the 2019 Rugby World Cup. It has seen teams wading through flooded water, and World Rugby ‘ducking’ for cover.

Teams have found themselves at the mercy of the Typhoon; just as their fans and residents of Japan’s eastern seaboard are. It has seen the phrase ‘hunkering down’ begin to trend, as the announcements of RWC match cancellations still hang in the air. The fact that so much focus of the key International rugby markets is on Japan, means that it is leading news stories across the Globe.

Focus has shifted from applying blame for the organizer’s inabilities to come up with practical contingency planning, to the safety and welfare of visitors to the country. From media and some players like Sergio Parisse, publicly lambasting them (and hinting at conspiracy theories), with the threat of legal action from the Scottish Rugby Union in the air – but soon vision of gale-force winds not seen in the Japanese capital in many years, altered public sentiment.

Yet now, in the full light of day, and after teams, fans as well as locals, have had to duck for safe shelter, the devastation and punch of Typhoon Hagibis is starting to show its true force.

Typhoon Hagibis sees World Rugby sides duck for cover

The warnings from World Rugby were for teams to ‘hunker down’ in their accommodation. To be safe, which must have been of concern to staff, as well as to all teams’ families back home.

Forecasted to be one of the strongest on record, the weather started to impact on Saturday.

Reports of winds beginning to strengthen, as the rain had already dumped centimeters of rain across the main island of Honshu.

Its effect was being seen widely. The above images of players wading through a flooded Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium, was only a glimpse of what was to come.

Reporters and presenters from International broadcasters showed images of the Typhoon approaching Tokyo.

Teams hotels began to feel the brunt of Typhoon Hagibis’ wind velocity.

All through the night, the strength of the storm made itself felt along the coastline. Rain was the most visible element that would, that would bring flash flooding to the island.


Ability for Tokyo to ‘drain stormwater damage’ now the Test

Now, after a night of severe weather, Tokyo appears to be rising to clear skies, as the storm heads north.

It is the ability now for the stormwater to drain away, and only then when any damage to infrastructure and especially, transport networks, be known.

World Rugby is expected to make a final judgment at around 11am-midnight. The fate of the Japan v Scotland match hangs in the balance, and while the Rugby World Cup needs this match to play-out [to settle the balance of the quarterfinalists places], the welfare of the city and its residents is paramount.

Last Word on Rugby believes all teams were safe and unaffected by the weather. Our team hopes the city has been able to last through Typhoon Hagibis, and presume that World Rugby will make the best decision for the benefit of the game; as much as for its commercial responsibilities to broadcasters and sponsors, as to the fitness of the nation to present stadiums and facilities that are capable of hosting an International quality test match.


At the time of publishing, the Canada v Namibia match in Kamaishi has been cancelled.

Once the news of the Japan v Scotland match is known, LWOR will share this, and more news on the damage caused by Typhoon Hagibis.


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