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Typhoon Hagibis threatens to derail Ireland's World Cup hopes with Samoa clash in doubt

Ireland could bow out of the competition if the worst-case scenario is realised and their game against Samoa chalked off as a draw.
Ireland could bow out of the competition if the worst-case scenario is realised and their game against Samoa chalked off as a draw.

By Cian Tracey in Japan

Ireland's World Cup could be thrown into disarray by a massive storm that is due to batter Japan this weekend.

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The 19th typhoon of the season which has been named Typhoon Hagibis has formed just south of Japan and forecasters say it is rapidly making its way towards the mainland.

Wind speeds of a staggering 270km/h are being predicated at the storm's peak, while if it hits Japan, it could reach 180km/h.

Local media have described Typhoon Hagibis as 'fierce', with some even suggesting that it could be classed as a 'super typhoon' by the time it hits the country.

Ireland are due to play Samoa on Saturday in Fukuoka, which is in southern Japan.

World Rugby have already confirmed that if any World Cup games are cancelled due to adverse weather conditions, the result will go down as a 0-0 draw.

If the worst case scenario was to unfold, it could leave Ireland on the brink of elimination, if Scotland were to win their remaining two games against Scotland on Wednesday and Japan on Sunday.

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If tournament organisers fear that situation arising, they may decide to move Ireland's final pool game to another city. An update is due later today.

"We are currently monitoring the development of a typhoon off the south coast of Japan in partnership with our weather information experts," a World Rugby spokesperson said.

"It is still too early to determine what, if any, impact there will be on match or training activities."

Other typhoons have already threatened to wreak havoc with the World Cup, but they never quite materialised enough to cancel a game.

Joe Schmidt will be hoping that Hagibis is the same or otherwise, the typhoon could have disastrous consequences for Ireland.

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