Scotland players embrace following their Rugby World Cup Pool A game at Kobe Misaki Stadium against Samoa. Photo: AP Photo/Aaron Favila
Scotland players embrace following their Rugby World Cup Pool A game at Kobe Misaki Stadium against Samoa. Photo: AP Photo/Aaron Favila
Scotland players wave to the crowd following their Rugby World Cup Pool A game at Kobe Misaki Stadium against Samoa. Photo: AP Photo/Aaron Favila
Scotland players wave to the crowd following their Rugby World Cup Pool A game at Kobe Misaki Stadium against Samoa. Photo: AP Photo/Aaron Favila

The world of rugby needs to come together over the coming days, just as it did following the Christchurch earthquake in 2011.

We saw the very best of the rugby community back then. There was no thought of switching the World Cup from New Zealand.

The organisers were allowed to tear up their plans and the affected teams and fans changed their own plans accordingly. What we did have on our side back then was time.

That spirit of solidarity needs to resurface big-time here.

The rugby world needs to get behind Japan - no witch-hunt or pointing fingers. Japan won the vote in 2009 and no issues were raised then. Nor did I read any negative comments about the possibility of a typhoon a year ago, a month ago or even last week.

There are a lot of retrospective experts suddenly venting on this when they have been completely mute in the past.

And we can sometimes be very choosy about when we criticise.

Don’t forget, Sri Lanka lost two of their nine Cricket World Cup pool matches to weather this summer, but I don’t remember much sympathy for them at the time. There was no real criticism of the ECB, or the organisers of the World Cup, either.

Now rugby must do what is sensible, fair and practical.

England and France had already qualified for the knockout stage so, take a couple of days off, keep safe and then build for the quarter-finals.

I can understand Italy’s frustration with being denied the chance to take on the All Blacks.

Theoretically, they still had a chance of reaching the quarter-finals, but the fact is they had zero chance of beating New Zealand.

There is only one thing that really matters now and that is to somehow, by hook or by crook, get the Japan-Scotland match completed on Sunday. 

Scotland players wave to the crowd following their Rugby World Cup Pool A game at Kobe Misaki Stadium against Samoa. Photo: AP Photo/Aaron Favila

The cancellation of that fixture is the only one that would seriously dent the credibility of this World Cup, so I would urge the organisers to go the extra mile to get this game played, even if that means putting the teams on a military plane and taking them to a typhoon-free location to play at whatever time of day suits.

It can be behind closed doors, at a small club ground, on any pitch that meets the dimensions required for a Test match and where there are sufficient medical facilities to ensure player welfare.

I understand that the transportation and safety of fans is one of the major issues but the priority is to do whatever it takes to ensure Japan face the Scots.

Daily Mail