The Latest: Ireland's Aki faces judiciary hearing on Monday

By Associated Press 13 October 2019, 12:00AM

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Day 24 of the Rugby World Cup in Japan (all times local):

1:10 p.m.

Ireland center Bundee Aki will have a disciplinary hearing in Tokyo on Monday night and is in danger of missing the rest of the Rugby World Cup after his red card for a dangerous tackle against Samoa.

Players have received three-game bans for similar offenses at this World Cup and that would mean Aki won't play again at the tournament.

The New Zealand-born Aki was red-carded in the first half of Saturday's final Pool A game for the Irish for hitting his shoulder into the head of Samoa flyhalf Ulupano Seuteni in a tackle. Ireland won 47-5 to confirm its place in the quarterfinals.

Aki started three of Ireland's four pool games. The only game he missed was the 19-12 upset by Japan, Ireland's only loss of the pool stage.

Ireland will play either defending champion New Zealand or South Africa in the quarterfinals.


12:45 p.m.

The three Rugby World Cup games going ahead on Sunday will hold a moment's silence for people affected by Typhoon Hagibis.

The powerful typhoon struck Japan on Saturday, causing extensive damage in eastern parts of the country, including the Tokyo region. It left at least seven people dead and 15 missing, authorities say, and caused the cancellation of three World Cup games over the weekend.

World Rugby says there will be a moment's silence at United States-Tonga in Osaka, Wales-Uruguay in Kumamoto, and Japan-Scotland in Yokohama.

The governing body says "the reaction of the rugby family has been incredible with messages of support, solidarity and sympathy across social media."

World Rugby canceled two games scheduled for Saturday ahead of the arrival of Typhoon Hagibis and called off a third game on Sunday morning because of the damage. The Namibia-Canada game in Kamaishi, on the northeastern coast, couldn't go ahead on Sunday because of flooding and landslides near the stadium.

Canada and Namibia were both hoping for a first win of this World Cup in their last game.

Canada coach Kingsley Jones said there was "disappointment, but (we) understand the reasons."

The Kamaishi stadium was built on the site where two schools sat before they were washed away on March 11, 2011, when the town was devastated by a magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 1,000 people.


10:55 a.m.

The Japan-Scotland match is a go.

World Rugby and Rugby World Cup organizers gave the decisive Pool A match the green light after checking Yokohama Stadium and transport infrastructure in the wake of the deadly Typhoon Hagibis.

The game is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. local time.

The winner will advance to the quarterfinals. Japan, which has won all of its three pool matches, can reach the quarterfinals for the first time. A huge local TV audience is expected after live audience records were broken when Japan beat Samoa last weekend.

Scotland has to beat Japan to advance.

"The decision was taken following a comprehensive assessment of the venue and associated infrastructure on Sunday morning in partnership with the host city," World Rugby said in a statement. " World Rugby and the Japan Rugby 2019 organizing committee would like to thank everyone involved for their significant efforts to enable the match to be played as scheduled following one of largest and most powerful typhoons to hit Japan in recent years."

Spectators are warned that catering and merchandise service will be reduced because of limitations on venue staff after the typhoon.


7:30 a.m.

At least two games will go ahead as scheduled on the last day of the group stage after Rugby World Cup organizers gave the all clear for the U.S. vs. Tonga Pool C encounter at Hanazono Stadium in Osaka and Wales vs Uruguay at Kumamoto.

Sunday's first scheduled game between Canada and Namibia at Kamaishi was canceled and organizers are assessing Yokohama International Stadium to determine if the Pool A game between Japan and Scotland can proceed in the wake of a destructive typhoon that hit Japan's main island on Saturday night.

Scotland needs a win to have any chance of reaching the quarterfinals. Japan only needs to avoid defeat to ensure its place in the knockout stage for the first time.


7 a.m.

Organizers say detailed venue inspections at Yokohama and Hanazono stadiums are underway to determine if the Japan-Scotland and United States-Tonga games can go ahead on Sunday in the wake of a destructive typhoon.

The Pool B game between Canada and Namibia was canceled early Sunday because an evacuation order remained in place in the Kamaishi area where the game was set to be played and there had been landslides and flooding in the vicinity of the stadium.

It was the third game to be cancelled at the tournament, following the early decision to call off scheduled games on Saturday between New Zealand and Italy in Toyota and England against France in Yokohama. The cancellations are unprecedented in Rugby World Cup tournaments.

"Our message to fans is to exercise due caution today as the country recovers from the storm and to keep monitoring official Rugby World Cup social and digital channels for further updates," World Rugby said in a statement.

Scotland needs a win over unbeaten Japan to have any chance of reaching the quarterfinals. If the game is canceled, both teams get two competition points and Japan will advance to the knockout stage for the first time. That game is scheduled to kick off at 7:45 p.m. local time.


6:15 a.m.

Rugby World Cup organizers have canceled a third game because of Typhoon Hagibis, deciding early Sunday morning to call off the last of the Pool B games between Canada and Namibia.

World Rugby issued a statement saying an evacuation order remained in place in the Kamaishi area where the game was set to be played and there had been landslides and flooding in the vicinity of the stadium.

Two of Saturday's three scheduled games were canceled well before the destructive typhoon made landfall and organizers will assess conditions in Yokohama before making a decision on Japan's last Pool A game against Scotland later Sunday.

"The safety of all involved in Rugby World Cup 2019 is our primary consideration and fans are advised not to travel to Kamaishi or the venue, which will be closed," World Rugby said.

Defending champion New Zealand's last group-stage game against Italy and the England-France game were the first games ever to be canceled at rugby's showpiece event.

Canceled matches are logged as 0-0 ties, and teams get two competition points each.


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By Associated Press 13 October 2019, 12:00AM

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