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Mako Wunipola prays for the safety of the family



English recipe Mako Woonipola prays for his loved ones in Tokyo, while Super Typhoon Hagibis loses the Japanese capital.

The nation's largest hurricane during 61 years has devastated vast swathes of Honshu after it hit the ground, resulting in evacuation, flooding and cessation orders.

England managed to avoid Hagibis after canceling their group stage match at the World Cup against France in Yokohama, allowing them to travel to Miyazaki where they began preparations for the quarter-finals.

But many fans have been stuck in Tokyo since entering the match, and Mako and his young brother Billy have a number of relatives who are tormented by the 122mm of winds and the relentless rain that accompanies the 870-mile-wide cyclone.

"We have families and friends there. This is probably the hardest job we have to deal with – realizing that the game is not going to start and trying to make plans for them, "Woonipola said.

"My partner came but returned before the match. My father just arrived and my aunts and cousins ​​came. My aunt is here all the time.

"My dad was only there for the game in France, but I think he will stay for the game in Australia.

"Japan is pretty used to typhoons and they have regulations to deal with, so it's just a case of doing what they tell us to hope for and praying to be safe.

"We talk to them as much as we can. It is worrying, but we are happy because we are so protected. I just hope the damage is not too much and the people are good.

"Obviously, you're focused on rugby, but you know it's not for everyone, especially when you look at such typhoons. You care about people's safety. "

Wonipola was poised to make only its second World Cup appearance against France after making its second comeback comeback a week ago when Argentina were knocked out at Tokyo Stadium.

Saracens' prop is limited to 38 minutes of rugby on May 11 and he acknowledges that the canceled game is a significant blow.

"I wanted to play as much as I could, to get a little more playing time under the belt," Woonipola said.

"But you can't control these things and that's pretty serious. We as players are not making those calls, so we have to deal with that.

"We had an idea that it might happen, but I really didn't believe there was a chance the game would be canceled. But two days before the match, we received the news.

"We had a tough training day on Wednesday, so I was a little encouraged because I worked hard.

"You want to play for your country as much as you can, but it has happened and we are here now.

"Before we came to the World Cup, we talked about it and said this could be a reality, and now it has. It's just a case of getting ready for it, dealing with it and moving on as soon as possible.


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