By Sir Clive Woodward for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:30 BST, 9 October 2019 | Updated: 23:16 BST, 9 October 2019
Wow! I'm still trying to process the news that the England v France game is off.
Their qualifying positions won't be altered, which is a small mercy, but that's no consolation to the players and fans who were looking forward to a great game.
In Europe we are used to rugby being a winter game and losing fixtures — although not as many as in the old days — and there have been things beyond our control like the foot-and-mouth outbreak in 2001 which badly disrupted the Six Nations.
The typhoon disruption was always a possibility and so it has proved at the World Cup
Eddie Jones's England side have had their final pool clash against France cancelled
If Japan's vital match against Scotland is also lost to Typhoon Hagibis, meaning Gregor Townsend and his team are eliminated, I would feel incredibly sorry for them. They were denied a semi-final place four years ago by a refereeing decision that World Rugby subsequently admitted was wrong.
I would also sympathise with Japan even though they would progress. The Japanese have been perfect hosts and they are not a nation who like to succeed in anything via shortcuts and luck.
This will hurt the country and their rugby fans deeply and they will feel it tarnishes what has been a brilliant World Cup.
The tournament rules are there and everybody has signed up to them. The prospect of such extreme weather — considered remote but nonetheless a possibility as this is the season of tropical storms and typhoons — was obviously factored in. Many of the teams encountered the tail-end of a typhoon when they arrived here last month.
There is a specific proposition in the rules and regulations that in the event of