Ireland World Cup boost as Typhoon Hagibis now forecast to miss Samoa clash in Fukuoka
The 2019 Rugby World Cup has been an emotionally turbulent ride for Ireland fans but it's now been handed a whole new wave of unpredictability with the potential arrival of Typhoon Hagibis.
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As Jonathan Bradley relayed on Monday afternoon, the incoming tropical storm is of much less interest to the Japanese locals than it is to Irish supporters looking on from back home on the Emerald Isle.
The five days leading up to Saturday's scheduled pool game against Samoa are now set to involve regular refreshing of the Japan Meteorological Agency website from Irish shores.
Should the storm, as was originally forecast, hit Fukuoka this weekend, everything's up in the air.
World Rugby have been left with the contingency plan - a change of time, venue or both potentially on the cards.
But the tournament organisers, and Irish fans, have been given a boost by the latest JMA forecast, which has Hagibis taking a dramatic right turn as it approaches the Japanese coast.
The move now has Fukuoka resting just outside the storm warning area and means Saturday's game could potentially proceed as originally planned.
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Typhoons, much like Ireland's performance levels, are unpredictable by their very nature so there still remains another few days of storm-watch before plans can be finalised.
World Rugby/Japan 2019 have released a statement on the adverse weather.
It read: "We are monitoring Typhoon Hagibis, which is currently developing off the south coast of Japan.
"The latest modelling from our weather information experts and the Japan Meteorological Agency, indicates that the typhoon is tracking in a north-westerly direction and could bring high winds and heavy rain to southern Japan on 12 and 13 October.
"While it is too early to determine the exact trajectory and impact, if any, of the typhoon at this early stage, as per previous typhoon warnings, we have a robust contingency programme in place in the event adverse weather looks likely to impact fixtures.
"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."
It is believed that a decision to alter the arrangements would have to be made at least 48 hours before kick-off.
"The boys haven't even spoken about it really," said Ireland coach Andy Farrell.
"We just go from day-to-day and get on with our preparations. World Rugby has been in touch with us and they're as keen as we are, as you are, to get this game played.
"If you look at the weather forecast, it changes the whole time anyway so I think we probably won't know until 48 hours or so before."
But the latest forecast is at least a step in the right direction for the game.
Belfast Telegraph Digital