Rugby World Cup 2019: Japan v Scotland

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Japan versus Scotland could end up being the most talked-about match that never was.

Typhoon Hagibis, which has already led to two Rugby World Cup fixtures being cancelled, is primed to wipe out the decisive Pool A clash in Yokohama on Sunday.

It would mean the points are shared, two apiece, and almost certainly spell the end for Gregor Townsend's side, with Ireland highly likely to defeat Samoa on Saturday.

However, Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson said the organisation had received a legal opinion that "unravels" World Rugby's case after the global governing body insisted matches could not be rescheduled. 

A final decision will be made on the morning of the game and, assuming it goes ahead, Scotland would need to bridge a gap of four points to overhaul the hosts.

That opens up a number of permutations as there are try-scoring and losing bonus points up for grabs, but if the teams should finish level in the group Scotland would progress on the basis of winning the head-to-head contest.

Japan go into the match with three wins from as many games, stunning world number ones Ireland in the process, leading coach Jamie Joseph to insist they would much rather play the match than qualify by default.

"I'd like to remind people it hasn't been a fluke," he said, with Japan having been eliminated in the pool phase behind Scotland four years ago despite winning three times, including a famous triumph over South Africa.

"We have played and won three Test matches, and that has put us in the best position in our pool.

"It has been a lot of hard work by a lot of people. This team has been in camp for 240 days this year alone.

"Everyone in our squad – players and staff – wants to play the Test match."