The strongest typhoon in the year so far has changed course and is now threatening to disrupt Scotland’s crucial World Cup Pool A decider in Yokohama on Sunday. 

Initial reports indicated that Typhoon Hagibis [dubbed Hurricane Haggis by the Scottish press pack in Japan] was headed towards Ireland’s match against Samoa in the south-west of the country, but the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has revealed the storm is now projected to clip south-eastern Japan, near Tokyo and Yokohama, instead.

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Such radical changes in direction are not unusual for typhoons nearing Japan, which sees around 20 per year. The JMA also stated that Hagibis could also continue its easterly track and miss Japan altogether.

HeraldScotland: Pic, the Met Office Pic, the Met Office

Hagibis is currently classed as ‘violent’, which is the JMA’s highest classification, with gusts as strong as 270 kilometres per hour, making it the most powerful storm in the world this year so far. 

While it is forecast to weaken before it nears Japan, it will still be ‘very strong’ according to the JMA.

The Pool C decider between England and France in Yokohama on Saturday could also be impacted.

The nightmare scenario for Scotland would be their crucial pool match against Japan – which looks like being a straight shoot-out for a place in the tournament quarter-finals – being cancelled. 

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That would mean a 0-0 draw being awarded with both getting two pool points, thus killing-off Scotland’s chances of making the last eight as they need at least a win [and perhaps a bonus point] from the match.

However, World Rugby has stated that ‘robust contingency plans’ are in place to ensure that all scheduled games go ahead on the day planned, with a change of venue the most likely solution.

“We haven’t talked about it as a coaching group and I think that if we had [heard something] we would have, which is not to say it won’t occur down the track,” said Scotland defence coach Matt Taylor this morning

Scotland play their penultimate pool match against Russia in Fukuroi City, around 200kms south west of Tokyo, tomorrow at 8.15am BST. 

They need to win that game, ideally with a bonus point, to keep their quarter-finals push alive.