Scotland Rugby fined for Typhoon Hagibis comments at World Cup

Scotland have questioned whether a potential World Rugby charge against them is "appropriate." Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) has been fined £70,000 after comments made by its representatives about the effect of Typhoon Hagibis at the World Cup in Japan were found to have constituted misconduct and "brought the game into disrepute".

The SRU has also been ordered to issue a "meaningful" written apology to World Rugby.

SRU chief executive Mark Dodson told BBC Radio 4 ahead of his nation's Pool A clash with hosts Japan that Scotland would not be "collateral damage for a decision that was taken in haste", as the match was threatened by the typhoon.

Meanwhile, the SRU's London-based barrister Nick de Marco was quoted in The Sun as saying: "If the only obstacles to a change of venue are logistical ones, then World Rugby needs to find a way round those problems. There are other games going ahead this weekend. Not all of Japan will be affected by the typhoon.

"World Rugby may feel they find themselves in a very difficult position, but they need to salvage the reputation of their competition. To do that, they have to make sure Scotland are given the chance to go through."

The game went ahead, with Japan winning 28-21 to progress to the quarterfinals and eliminate Scotland from the tournament.

An independent disputes committee deemed the comments by Dodson and De Marco amounted to misconduct.

A statement from World Rugby read: "World Rugby strongly believed the comments, which suggested an unfair and disorganised treatment of all teams, to be inappropriate and ill-judged at a time when Japan was preparing for the largest and most destructive typhoon in decades."

The committee also said Scotland's fine will be donated to the Childfund Pass it Back programme on World Rugby's instruction, to assist with the ongoing relief effort in areas affected by Typhoon Hagibis.