World Rugby slammed Scotland over a “disappointing” threat of legal action on Friday as tempers flared over fears their pivotal game with World Cup hosts Japan will be cancelled because of a typhoon.
After Japan coach Jamie Joseph had also lashed out at Scotland’s warning, the governing body took the highly unusual step of rebuking an individual team.
Scotland face elimination from the World Cup if Sunday’s Pool A game is axed as a result of Typhoon Hagibis, which is due to plough into the Tokyo area on Saturday and could cause widespread damage.
“It is disappointing that the Scottish Rugby Union should make such comments at a time when we are doing everything we can to enable all Sunday’s matches to take place as scheduled,” World Rugby said.
Hagibis is predicted to be “one of the largest and most destructive typhoons to hit Japan since 1958”, it said, adding that Scotland had signed up to rules stating that if a game cannot be played on the scheduled day, it is counted as a draw.
Scottish Rugby Union chief executive Mark Dodson had earlier insisted Scotland wouldn’t become “collateral damage” from the typhoon, warning that legal action was a possibility if the game is cancelled.
“We don’t know that (it’s too late) — we have to challenge it. This is about the game and rugby supporters across the world are absolutely astounded at this rigidity from World Rugby,” Dodson told BBC radio.