Typhoon Faxai causes travel chaos for England and Australia ahead of Rugby World Cup in Japan
England stranded for five hours at Narita International Airport
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 09/09/19 3:06pm
Typhoon Faxai has caused travel chaos in Japan ahead of the Rugby World Cup, with the England and Australia squads both facing major delays.
England began their journey to Japan on Sunday night and arrived in Tokyo on Monday morning, but were stranded at Narita International Airport for five hours after their transfer was caught in congestion.
Australia were also due to arrive on Monday morning but were delayed by 16 hours after their original flight was cancelled due to strong winds and heavy rain in the region.
More than 130 flights were cancelled due to the treacherous weather conditions, causing commuting chaos in the greater area of the city, which has a population of around 36 million.
Several railway and subway operators also suspended services after the storm made landfall at Chiba, a northern suburb of the Japanese capital.
Sky Sports News reporter Gail Davis says the typhoon caused buildings to sway and shake in Tokyo, with winds of up to 123mph hitting the Japanese capital.
Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga confirmed one person had been killed and dozens injured by the typhoon, which also caused 900,000 power failures across the city.
"We are excited to arrive in Japan, it is a great honour and privilege to represent England and we are looking forward to the tournament," said head coach Eddie Jones upon arrival.
"This is a unique World Cup. It's the first time in a tier-two nation so our ability to adapt quickly will be imperative.
"Every one of the 20 teams goes into the World Cup with the target of being at their best. We think we have prepared well so we have put ourselves in a good position."
World Cup organisers have planned for the possibility of having to relocate teams from their bases or even to move matches to different venues because of Typhoon Faxai.
The stadiums for England's first two games, against Tonga in Sapporo and the United States in Kobe, have roofs and Jones says the team will train indoors on artificial turf if necessary.
"It's going to affect the World Cup, there's no doubt about it," Jones said after Friday's 37-0 win over Italy. "You've just got to ride with it, be adaptable and work out how you can cope with the situation.
"Once the typhoon comes, you just can't go outside. It's basically a lock-down. It can vary between being very violent to quite mild.
"The issue is you can't go outside but we've got ideas of what we do if a typhoon stopped us training outdoors. We'll train on artificial turf indoors."
Hansen plays down conditions
New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen was unflustered about the prospect of extreme weather conditions affecting the tournament in future.
He said: "The storms are things we know about and we have planned for, so no more concerns. We understand what we are coming into and we are well aware of what we could get.
"You are expected to win all the time so you have to make a choice whether you sink or you stand up."
Sky Sports News' Gail Davis reports on England's late arrival in Japan, amid Typhoon Faxai.
As meticulous a planner as Eddie Jones is, even he cannot control this weather or the aftermath of it.
Japan is used to dealing with extreme conditions, from the 29th floor my hotel swayed a little (they are designed to do this to withstand storms).
If you pulled back the curtains it was like being in a washing machine as the rain smashed against the glass.
The morning after as we set off to go and film England arriving at the airport, it did not even look like it had rained in central Tokyo, had we not seen the headlines about evacuations and power cuts, you would have never imagined the destruction.
Off we went to the train station and all seemed fine, it was only when we arrived at the airport train station and saw hundreds of people with suitcases standing around that we sensed a problem.
After a delay getting off of the plane, England were greeted with the news that their bus could not make it through the fallen trees and traffic and they were then stranded.
Eddie Jones has insisted on prepping his side for what might happen if a Typhoon hit the host World Cup nation.
Being adaptable is key and we have seen him introduce short weeks of training between Tests in case the weather conditions are too severe to be outside.
Jones, like the forecasters, knew the typhoons would come, Faxai is the 15th typhoon to hit so far this season but I am sure he was hoping his team might at least be able to arrive.
It means a quick turnaround now, England head to their training camp in Miyazaki in the south island of Kyushu on Tuesday.
The last 12 hours have been a glimpse of how challenging this World Cup might be.
It is also a reminder of what Eddie Jones talked about when I visited Japan with him last year - it might not be the most talented team that wins this World Cup, but the side that is best prepared to adapt.