The Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team kick off preparations for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup with two international friendly games in this week.
Vera Pauw’s side host Denmark in Tallaght Stadium on Thursday before travelling to Belgium for a game in the King Baudouin Stadium on Sunday, April 11th.
The final squad ahead of the two friendlies has been finalised. Injuries have ruled out Megan Campbell, Leanne Kiernan and Clare Shine, while goalkeeper Niamh Reid-Burke retired from international football. Julie-Ann Russell and Nicole Douglas also cannot travel due to COVID restrictions while Harriet Scott is undertaking exams.
There are also invites extended to the quartet of defender Florence Gamby (London Bees), midfielders Lily Agg (London City Lionesses) and Emily Murphy (Birmingham City), and forward Aoife Colvill (Glasgow City), who are eligible to declare for Ireland but will not be part of the match-day squad for this camp.
CONFIRMED | WNT Squad ?
April 8 | ?? v ??
April 11 | ?? v ??
Live ? coverage to be announced in due course#IRLDEN | #BELIRL | #COYGIG | #WeAreOne pic.twitter.com/w9u0IRZp8p
— FAIreland ⚽️?? (@FAIreland) April 4, 2021
With the Qualifying Draw for the World Cup scheduled to take place on April 30th, these two games will afford Pauw extra time to work with her squad.
“With the world still fighting back against the COVID-19 pandemic, we are very grateful to have the opportunity to play these games which will make a significant difference to our preparation for the 2023 FIFA World Cup qualifiers due to start in September,” said Pauw.
“There were a lot of positives to take from our EURO qualifying campaign, but this is a new tournament and that means we have to focus on that. The goal is to qualify for the finals in Australia and New Zealand, but we know that it won’t be easy, and we must wait to discover our opponents in the Qualifying Draw.
Ireland last met Belgium in January 2019 in an international friendly game in Spain, while their previous encounter with Denmark stretches back to an Algarve Cup game in March 2006.
Republic of Ireland WNT Squad
Goalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan (West Ham United), Marie Hourihan (SC Braga), Grace Moloney (Reading)
Defenders: Keeva Keenan (Celtic), Claire O'Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Louise Quinn (Fiorentina), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Diane Caldwell (North Carolina Courage), Claire Walsh (Peamount United), Niamh Farrelly (Glasgow City), Áine O'Gorman (Peamount United)
Midfielders: Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Denise O'Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Ellen Molloy (Wexford Youths), Jamie Finn (Shelbourne), Hayley Nolan (London City Lionesses), Ruesha Littlejohn (Birmingham City), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne), Alli Murphy (London City Lionesses), Katie McCabe (Arsenal)
Forwards: Rianna Jarrett (Brighton & Hove Albion), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Heather Payne (Florida State University), Kyra Carusa (HB Hoge)
Republic of Ireland v Denmark
Thursday, April 8
Belgium v Republic of Ireland
Sunday, April 11
King Baudouin Stadium
Great to be back ??#COYGIG | #WeAreOne pic.twitter.com/GyTGHODcAN
— FAIreland ⚽️?? (@FAIreland) April 5, 2021