Italian captain Sergio Parisse has hammered world rugby after deciding to cancel his side's game against the All Blacks on Saturday over the threat posed by Super typhoon Hagibis.
"It's hard to know we won't have a chance to play a match against one of the great teams," he said.
"If New Zealand needed four or five points against us, it would not have been canceled," Parisse told reporters in Toyota City on Thursday.
A rugby World Cup pool game would be Parisse's farewell rehearsal for rugby – by longtime teammates Alessandro Zanni and Leonard Ghiraldini.
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The match was declared a draw, meaning Italy would exit the tournament, denied the chance to defeat all Blacks for the first time in its history as New Zealand advanced to the quarterfinals.
"We had the opportunity to play in a big stadium, against a great team," Parisse said. "It's funny that a decision of this nature was made because it's not like the fans who arrived yesterday.
The rugby world cup has seen an unprecedented cancellation of matches due to the threat of Hagibi Super Typhoon.
"The funny thing is, there was no plan B, because it's not news that typhoons hit Japan. The alternative is plan B. When you organize the World Cup, you should have it in place."
Italian coach Conor O & # 39; Shea was more diplomatic but sad about the turn of events.
“Clearly everyone is falling because we wanted to have the opportunity to play against New Zealand.
"For us, this was our next challenge, and it may be the last time Sergio, Ale and Leo are playing and an opportunity to give young players a chance.
"I'm disappointed with the players, the staff and the fans.
"I'm sure it was a tough decision for World Rugby. All the other teams whose matches were canceled had already passed and we were the only ones who had a chance to qualify.
"We didn't know until this morning, so I told Sergio and the guys that he had fallen in, but they were probably wet so they pulled out a bucket of water.
"I find it really difficult and I saw the reaction of the players after training and it was awful because these guys gave their lives to Italian rugby and their World Cup ended on the pitch, when it should be on the pitch."
"For the World Cup not to end in front of the fans on the pitch, in front of the fans watching on TV in Italy, it is a busy day for all of us and it is difficult to put the word out.
"I feel bad for Sergio and the whole team for not being able to finish their World Cup on the field in front of the fans and then in the locker room together. I have to accept that it won't be so, really hard to bear."
About the prospect of winning New Zealand, O & # 39; Shea said: "You never know what can happen on the field – as we learned against South Africa.
"We have been preparing for this for a long time. There was good energy and good spirit in the squad. I feel privileged to have worked with them.
"We had a chance to qualify. I'm not saying we would beat them, but you want to end up on the field.
"Anything can happen and you are very emotional especially for Leonard Ghiraldini who missed the last opportunity to play in an Italian jersey and hear that your international career is over after training.
Ghiraldini reportedly broke down in tears listening to the news of the cancellation. The match was expected to receive a 20-minute cameo appearance.