Namibia, Canada rugby match cancelled

Namibia's final match at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan against Canada has been cancelled at the last minute due to Typhoon Hagibis.

The match is scheduled for Sunday in Kamaishi.

According to official online communication by World Rugby, the match was cancelled because of the Level 5 evacuation order issued by Prefecture of Iwate and the City of Kamaishi as a result of the typhoon.

Typhoon Hagibis was one of the most powerful storms to hit Japan in decades and safety considerations are at the heart of the decision, the online statement read.

Kamaishi is situated in a highly mountainous area, including mountains directly behind the main stand of the stadium.

There have been landslides and flooding in the vicinity of the stadium and along access roads to the venue following torrential rain throughout the night.

World Rugby Chief Operating Officer and Tournament Director Alan Gilpin said in the statement that the safety of teams, fans, volunteers and workforce is the number one priority.

We have been liaising closely with the city and the venue over the past 24 hours and have informed the teams. In line with the direction of the local authorities, we are making the difficult, but right decision to cancel the match, he added.

The matches at other venues like Hanazono and Kumamoto will go ahead as scheduled.

The cancellation will be seen as a big blow for Namibia's chances of registering their first win at the World Cup finals following 22 matches at the tournament without a victory.

Namibia head coach Phil Davies, backed the 'logical' cancellation given 'safety is paramount'.

'I've never seen so much rain and being from Wales we see a lot of rain, but it's been phenomenal and it was the right decision, he said.

He also reflected on Namibia's progress saying the scoreboard was unkind to Namibia, especially in the match against New Zealand adding that being 10-09 after 30 minutes against the world champions was a testament to how far the players have come over the past four years.

Davis added that going forward, the country needs to grow the game by increasing the number of teams participating in the Namibia Rugby Premier League from seven t0 10 and also increasing the number of players from 900 players to 4 000.

Source: Namibia Press Agency