...there is even the possibility of the World Cup being shared.
Here's how the tournament rules will accommodate unwanted cancellations and weather interruptions.
If a pool match has to be ruled out for the scheduled day it will not be rescheduled, it will be considered cancelled.
That means the result will be declared a draw with both teams being awarded two points each with no bonus points being awarded.
Where a pool match is stopped following commencement, and cannot be completed the same day, it will not be rescheduled to the following day, and will be considered as abandoned.
If a match is abandoned either at half time or at any time during the second half, the score at the time of the abandonment shall be considered as final.
If a match has to be abandoned at any time during the first half, the result shall be declared a draw. But each team will keep its score at the time of the abandonment and any bonus points for scoring four tries or more during the time that play was allowed, will be retained.
Should the weather cause disruptions in the knockout stages of the tournament then the match can be postponed if it hasn't started.
In this scenario the match would be rescheduled to be played within two days of the following scheduled match day. This will also happen should a match have to be abandoned at any time during the first half of the game.
Should the match have to be abandoned in the second half at any time, the score at the time of abandonment will be considered the result of the match.
If the result is a tie, then the winner is determined by the following sequential criteria by World Rugby's tournament rules.
- The team which scored most tries in that particular match.
- The team with the most match points from the pool phase.
- The team which in all its tournament matches has the best difference between points scored for and points scored against.
- The team which in all its tournament matches has the best difference between tries scored for and tries scored against.
- The team which in all its tournament matches has scored most points.
- The team which in all its tournament matches has scored most tries.
- Where all criteria above are not able to determine a winner, the winner shall be the team that is higher ranked in the official World Rugby rankings at the time the match is scheduled to be played. (This criterion will not apply for the final; in the case that the winner of the final cannot be determined from the above criteria the two teams shall be jointly declared winners).
Where a knockout stage match has to be abandoned at any time during the first half, the match shall be played again in full within the two following days at the same venue, or if required, an alternate venue as directed by tournament organisers.