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Coach Eddie Jones thanked “the typhoon gods” when England’s last pool match against France was cancelled, giving his men an extra week off before the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals, but the unexpected break is not all good news for the teams.

The unprecedented decision to scrap two matches due to Typhoon Hagibis — New Zealand vs Italy was also cancelled — has left England, France and the All Blacks in the curious position of having two weeks off before their last-eight battles.

Favorites New Zealand will have had a gap of 28 days since their last serious challenge — beating South Africa 23-13. In the interim, the All Blacks have coasted to wins against minnows Namibia and Canada.

“It’s a bit of a weird feeling,” admitted All Black lock Sam Whitelock. “If you’re given what you ideally want, we’d have loved to have played but we’re just going to deal with what we’ve been handed.”

While a longer rest period obviously results in fresher players an

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