Scotland Threaten Legal Action If Their Rugby World Cup Fixture With Japan Is Cancelled

Not acceptable.

Scotland have named their team for Sunday’s crucial Rugby World Cup pool clash with tournament hosts Japan – but we still don’t know if the game is still going ahead or not.

Gregor Townsend’s men need to win with a bonus-point or win without and deny Japan a losing bonus-point in order to qualify for the knockout stages. But if the game doesn’t go ahead both teams will be awarded just two points and Scotland’s World Cup will be over.

The matches between England and France in Yokohama, and New Zealand v Italy in Toyota, both on Saturday have already been cancelled with Scotland and Japan scheduled for Yokohama on Sunday.

A decision is set to be made on the Scotland game the day of the fixture but SRU chief executive Mark Dodson has made it clear he won’t accept the possibility of them being eliminated if the Typhoon results in the match being cancelled.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Dodson says cancelling the game “goes against the whole sporting integrity of the tournament.”

“No, we don’t [accept it],” he said.

“I think from our point of view, this is the crux of the matter. The first and most important issue is that we look after the safety of the general public. The second thing is for World Rugby to just simply state that the game has to be cancelled goes against the whole sporting integrity of the tournament.

“We have been preparing for this tournament now for four years, the guys have had over 100 days in camp, we’ve played games already and the fourth game in this particular case is pivotal.”

And Dodson says Scotland have already sought legal advice.

“We’ve had consistent dialogue in the last three or four days around this with senior people at World Rugby, but World Rugby seem to be determined to stick to its plan that the match is either played on Sunday or indeed it is cancelled, and to have it cancelled and have our ability to progress from this group put at peril, we believe is absolutely unacceptable,” Dodson added

“World Rugby is pointing us back to the participation agreement. We’ve had legal opinion – from a leading QC – that challenges World Rugby’s interpretation.”