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England v France, New Zealand v Italy World Cup games cancelled over typhoon

Both games were due to be played on Saturday. Gilpin said Sunday's four games -- including the Pool A showdown between hosts Japan and Scotland -- were under review.

Italy's players stand in the rain during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between Italy and Namibia at the Hanazono Rugby Stadium in Higashiosaka on 22 September 2019. Picture: AFP

TOKYO - Rugby World Cup organisers on Thursday cancelled England's game against France and New Zealand's clash with Italy as Super Typhoon Hagibis bears down on Japan.

"We've taken the very difficult decision to cancel certain matches in the affected areas," tournament director Alan Gilpin said, announcing the unprecedented step.

Both games were due to be played on Saturday. Gilpin said Sunday's four games -- including the Pool A showdown between hosts Japan and Scotland -- were under review.

"We are continuing to review Sunday's matches and making every effort to ensure they will be played as schedule," he said.

Hagibis is ranked as "violent", the highest classification used by the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA), and is packing maximum gusts of up to 270 kilometres per hour.

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