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Billy Vunipola to have scan on ankle and won’t be risked for France clash

Billy Vunipola - England

England are planning to leave Billy Vunipola out of their match against France after the no.8 twisted his ankle last weekend.

A scan to assess the injury has been ordered for the forward, but head coach Eddie Jones has claimed the injury isn’t considered serious.

Nonetheless Vunipola is poised to miss the match against Les Bleus with a place in the quarter-finals assured for both teams.

“We are being overly cautious and if there is any risk that Billy is not going to be 100% we will rest him,” England’s attack coach, Scott Wisemantel, said.

Vunipola was spotted in the team hotel wearing a protective boot. A measure taken in line with the team’s ‘overly cautious’ approach.

The winner of the match between England and old rivals France will top the pool and likely face a quarter-final against Wales or Australia.

But the fixture at Yokohama Stadium now appears to be under threat of taking place as tournament organisers and Japanese authorities monitor the development of Super Typhoon Hagibis.

The storm has developed into a Category 5 typhoon over the past 24 hours, and current tracking forecasts Hagibis to hit land in five days’ time.

This would put England and Scotland’s games against Yokohama in jeopardy.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) have classed the storm as ‘violent’ if it moves north towards the south coast of the country, the highest level of severity that can be given to a typhoon.

As a result, World Rugby could re-arrange fixtures or abandon matches and record the result as a 0-0 draw, mean both teams would earn two points.

“World Rugby, Japan Rugby 2019 and our weather information experts continue to closely monitor the direction and strength of Typhoon Hagibis (Typhoon 19),” a statement read.

“It remains too early to fully predict the movement and impact of the storm, however the latest modelling by our weather information experts indicates that it is now tracking north and east and will bring strong winds and heavy rain to Tokyo and surrounding areas on 12 October.

“Public and team safety is our number one priority. While we have robust contingency plans in place for pool matches, such plans, if required, will only be actioned if the safety of teams, fans, and workforce can be guaranteed. It would be inappropriate to comment on any contingency plans at this stage.”

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