Drew Mitchell calls out double standards of World Cup organisers
Typhoon Hagibis is causing problems for the Rugby World Cup schedule and former Wallaby Drew Mitchell doesn’t think the World Cup organisers have dealt with it well at all.
The England v France and New Zealand v Italy pool games on Saturday have been cancelled with the storm set to hit the venues of those matches – Yokohama and Toyota City.
It’s the first time in the tournament’s 32 year history that a game has been cancelled.
The news was devastating for Italy who needed to beat the All Blacks with a bonus point to advance to the quarter finals. Azzurri hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini broke down during training when they heard the news that their World Cup is over, according to The New Zealand Herald.
However it’s no skin off the nose of England and New Zealand who are guaranteed to top their groups thanks to the scrapped matches.
Mitchell has told Macquarie Sports Radio that he thinks the fact that the games were cancelled rather than just moved to other venues shows double standards from the Rugby World Cup organisers.
“If New Zealand needed five points to qualify, do you think they would’ve cancelled the game?”, Mitchell said.
“If it was England, if it was one of these Tier 1 nations that are likely to go on and fight for this title – Italy with all due respect probably aren’t – is it an easier decision when it’s not necessarily one of the heavyweights?
“No game has ever been cancelled before.
“I understand that it’s meant to be quite severe.
“They knew they were going to going to host this World Cup during typhoon season.
“I think it’s the 19th typhoon of this season, so they knew it could have been likely.
“I just think they sat on their hands too much throughout the week.
“If there was any chance of a typhoon hitting on the weekend, make a decision Monday. Just pack up and go anyway.
“Go to whatever length you need to make sure games are played.
“Some teams are advantaged by it, the ones that were going through already, they know they’ve now got a two week preparation before the quarter finals.
“Other teams, all be it unlikely, like Italy getting a five try bonus point and winning against New Zealand, are still denied that opportunity.
“Also guys like Sergio Parisse, 140-odd caps for Italy, his last game cancelled.
“I just think it’s a bad look, they left the decision too late in the week.”
Click PLAY below to listen to Drew Mitchell’s comments on the cancelled Rugby World Cup games.