Typhoon Hagibis: Safety main England concern at World Cup - Steve Borthwick

Japan players wade through floodwater at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo
2019 Rugby World Cup
Hosts: Japan Dates: 20 September to 2 November
Coverage: Full commentary on every game across BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.

Safety is the main concern when Typhoon Hagibis hits Japan on Saturday, says England forwards coach Steve Borthwick.

England's World Cup group game against France in Yokohama was cancelled, while Scotland's crucial match against Japan on Sunday is also under threat.

Borthwick, who lived in Tokyo for three years as part of Eddie Jones' staff when he was coaching Japan, hopes the country can escape with minimal damage.

"In Japan they're very resilient people," said Borthwick.

"They're prepared for different types of incidents. They've had to go through a lot.

"First and foremost, you want to make sure everyone is safe. Hopefully this storm passes, everyone is safe and there's minimal damage."

Hagibis is forecast to be the strongest storm to hit Japan in decades, with World Rugby telling fans to stay indoors and follow any evacuation orders.

As well as England v France, the sport's governing body took the decision to cancel Saturday's match between New Zealand and Italy.

It says it will inspect venues for Sunday's four matches, including Scotland's must-win game against the hosts, immediately after the typhoon has passed.

The inspection is due at 22:00 BST on Saturday, with a decision expected within two hours about whether the match, scheduled to start at 11:45 on Sunday, will be played.

"One of the things that struck me when I moved here is that straight away you get an education on these incidents," added Borthwick.

"People tell you what you need, like having everything in the cupboard in case there is an earthquake so that you've always got it ready.

"My little boy was taught at pre-school what to do if he heard the earthquake alarms, and he'd straight away climb under the table.

"It's a country that's really well prepared for different types of natural weather incidents and situations like earthquakes."

Map showing the predicted path of Typhoon Hagibis

England have left the capital Tokyo for Miyazaki, where they held their pre-tournament training camp.

"I know people who have flown here just for the weekend," said hooker Jamie George. "We're obviously gutted for those guys.

"Trust me, we'd much rather be playing as well, but it's very difficult circumstances.

"My parents actually left on Thursday when we found out there wasn't going to be a game. They've flown back to be with my brother, who lives in Bangkok, and then my girlfriend headed out of Tokyo with a few of the other girls.

"They're a bit out of Tokyo so we don't have anyone there at the minute, but I've got a couple of mates there who are trying to wait it all out."

England will head to Oita on Monday as they prepare for a likely quarter-final against Australia.

Number eight Billy Vunipola and wing Jack Nowell are doubts for Saturday's game because of respective ankle and hamstring injuries and are having treatment.

Prop Joe Marler has resumed full training after recovering from the back injury he picked up in the win over Argentina.

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