What Typhoon Hagibis means for the Rugby World Cup and F1 in Japan

The imminent arrival of Typhoon Hagibis in Japan has wreaked havoc with the schedules of the Rugby World Cup and Formula One this weekend.

World Rugby announced Thursday it was cancelling two of Saturday's three World Cup pool matches, while qualifying day at the Japanese Grand Prix has also been called off.

Never before has a World Cup match been cancelled -- Sunday's quartet of games are also are under threat -- but with the Category 5 typhoon set to hit Tokyo on Saturday, World Rugby has taken pre-emptive steps. We are in uncharted territory for the sport. Here's the latest on what these decisions mean for the World Cup and this weekend's Formula One action.

What decision was made?

With the plotted path of Typhoon Hagibis expected to come into contact with Tokyo on Saturday, World Rugby had to consider the safety of fans and players while also factoring in the logistical implications of this huge storm hitting the capital when there were games due to take place.

England-France was set to be played in Yokohama, while New Zealand were scheduled to be taking on Italy in Toyota. Having consulted the Japan Meteorological Agency and other experts, World Rugby decided to cancel both England-France and New Zealand-Italy. Ireland-Samoa remains on as things stand, as it is being played in Fukuoka and is likely to be spared from the worst of the typhoon.

There are four matches etched in for Sunday, with Japan's game against Scotland in Yokohama being the standout match, as both teams chase a spot in the quarterfinals. World Rugby will decide on Sunday morning whether this game and the other three (Namibia-Canada, Wales-Uruguay, USA-Tonga) go ahead.

What does this mean? Who wins and who loses?

On the rugby side of things, the decision to cancel both matches 48 hours out without any option of relocation or postponement has caused uproar. World Rugby bosses say the teams agreed to the stipulations before the start of the tournament where if a pool match cannot be played on the day it's meant to take place, then it is cancelled.

The governing body did look into relocating some matches, but it ran into logistical difficulties with a number of the previously used stadia no longer under tournament control. It was therefore decided a blanket approach was needed, so if one game could not be relocated and was cancelled, then the same decision-making process would be applied to the others under threat from the typhoon.

The decision means England now top Pool C and France go through as runners-up as the cancelled match is written off as a scoreless draw meaning both teams get two points. The upheaval in Pool C is minimal and England already have shared how they are pleased to have extra time to focus on their quarterfinal match, which is likely to be against Australia.

For the All Blacks, Steve Hansen called the decision a "no-brainer" but Italy were left devastated by the announcement. They still had slim hopes of progressing to the knockout stages (needing a bonus point win over the All Blacks); however, the cancellation not only saw them cemented third in their group and out of the World Cup but robbed some of their experienced statesmen of one last run out for the Azzurri.

Head coach Conor O'Shea was upset at seeing the likes of Sergio Parisse and Leonardo Ghiraldini finish their Italy careers on the training paddock, rather than on the field, while Parisse hit out at World Rugby for their lack of a contingency plan and controversially argued the game would not have been cancelled had it been the All Blacks needing a win.

Italy head home with that horrible feeling of "what if," and Scotland are doing all they can to avoid a similar fate. Scotland need a big win over Japan to qualify for the knockout stages at the expense of the hosts, but they know their fate lies firmly in the lap of the weather Gods.

If their game is cancelled, then as things stand they will be knocked out of the World Cup and Japan will progress. Scotland are hopeful of finding a contingency plan -- perhaps playing the game later in the day, on Monday or at another venue -- but World Rugby appear steadfast in their decision-making that would see the game cancelled if it could not be played at Yokohama on Sunday.

The key timing here is 11.45 local time (03.45 BST) with World Rugby having to announce whether the game is going ahead at the latest six hours before the match is due to start.

What about the Formula One?

Final practice and qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix were due to be held on Saturday, but the increasing threat from high winds and heavy rain has resulted in the circuit cancelling all activities at the Suzuka Circuit on Saturday.

Conditions are deemed by the Japanese Automobile Federation (JAF) to not only present a safety risk for drivers but also for fans making their way to the circuit.

Two 90-minute practice sessions took place on Friday, with qualifying rescheduled for 10:00am local time on Sunday morning, after the typhoon is forecast to have passed. The teams will be allowed to return to the track at 5:00am on Sunday morning once the team-members curfew, which is applied at all races to limit time spent working on the cars, is lifted.

A track inspection will be carried out between 9:30am and 9:45am, including the first laps of the circuit after the typhoon by the FIA's Safety Car.

If qualifying is cancelled on Sunday, then grid positions will be decided by the times set at the second practice session, where Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time, 0.100s ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton.

While postponements are already shaping the next stage of the Rugby World Cup, moving qualifying is more of a logistical problem than one which altered the competitive balance of power too dramatically. One issue this could produce is the short time between a Sunday qualifying session and the race, leaving any team little time to fix a car if one of its drivers crashes in the morning.

Teams took precautions in the paddock on Friday evening to minimise damage, including metal anchors being drilled into the tarmac to prevent the roofs of the team hospitality units being blown away.

The Suzuka race has precedent in this department. In 2004, Typhoon Ma-on, a tropical cyclone that was comparable in size to Hagibis, prompted a decision on Friday evening to postpone qualifying. In 2010, the bad weather was not caused by a typhoon but track conditions were still deemed to be too bad to continue on Saturday afternoon, leading to the session being rescheduled for Sunday. In the 2014 race, Jules Bianchi crashed in heavy rain from Typhoon Panphone and died from his injuries the following year.

The Formula 4 support series had its sessions cancelled this week to free up any potential schedule changes for F1.