The World Cup clash was played against the backdrop of a tense stand-off between the Scottish Rugby Union and tournament organisers over the threat of the game being cancelled due to the impact of Typhoon Hagibis. In the event, the brunt of the storm did not hit Yokohama and the game went ahead as scheduled, but World Rugby were sufficiently antagonised by the episode to refer the matter to an independent disputes panel who are currently considering a misconduct charge against Scottish Rugby.
Scottish Rugby responded to the charge by questioning “whether the matter is an appropriate one for the bringing of Misconduct charges”.
Requests from The Offside Line to World Rugby this week for clarification of how the disciplinary process will progress, the make-up of the review panel and when an outcome will be announced have so far been rebuffed.
Scottish Rugby top-brass have been keen to emphasise their empathy with the host nation, stressing their faith that Japanese authorities would have done everything in their power to get the game on. They are also proud of the “strategic alliance agreement” signed in 2016 with the city of Nagasaki, which hosted Scotland’s pre-World Cup holding camp.
Hosting The Brave Blossoms next November will be regarded by Murrayfield as another demonstration of their deep and strong positive relationship with the emerging rugby superpower. It will be the fifth time the two sides have met in as many years. Scotland will also host Japan at Scotstoun later this month in a Women’s International.
The BBC has also reported that Scotland may play Japan again in a Europe-based triangular tournament in the summer of 2021, possibly also involving Georgia and Romania.