Rugby World Cup: Typhoon should not dictate results, says Francois Pienaar
Last Updated: 10/10/19 6:09am
Former Springboks captain Francois Pienaar says it is "unfair" to allow adverse weather to dictate results at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
England's match against France, as well as Scotland's important game against Japan, could be cancelled by World Rugby due to the threat posed by Super Typhoon Hagibis. Although there is the option to move the games, if they are cancelled at late notice they would be declared a draw.
That would not affect England greatly as they are already through to the quarter-finals, but if Scotland's fixture against the tournament hosts does not go ahead it will likely end their World Cup campaign.
South Africa won the World Cup in 1995 but they almost did not make it through their semi-final against France due to the weather. Kick-off for the game was pushed back when Kings Park was hit by torrential rain and, although the game eventually went ahead, had play not been possible France would have progressed to the final due to their superior disciplinary record after the Boks had two people sent off in a pool match against Canada.
For that reason, Pienaar has called on World Rugby to be flexible in how it approaches the games that will be affected by Japan's weather.
"We were lucky because if that game didn't take place in 1995 we were out of the World Cup because of discipline," Pienaar said at the Street Soccer Scotland Annual Dinner in Glasgow.
"It just seems unfair, it seems that you need to at least have that match played so that you can get a result.
"If weather plays a terrible part on the weekend, one team is going to be ecstatic, another team is going to be desolate.
"Everybody has worked so hard. Why, if you work that hard and prepare yourself, let weather influence the outcome of the match? It shouldn't.
"I can see the difficulty because it's six weeks, everything is planned and structured, but there needs to be flexibility. If there's bad weather conditions one needs to readjust."
World Rugby has called a press conference at 12pm local time (4am BST) on Thursday to reveal its plans for the games involving Scotland and England.