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Women in Sport

07th Feb 2023

Ireland to take on France in big Tallaght Stadium send-off before World Cup

Niall McIntyre

The Irish women’s team will host France in Tallaght stadium in a big send-off ahead of the World Cup.

There were hopes that the game would take place in the Aviva Stadium but due to ‘scheduled pitch redevelopment work,’ that is no longer a possibility.

With the game now set to take place in Shamrock Rovers home grounds, which holds a capacity crowd of 8,000, it is now hoped that the Thursday July 6 clash will be a sell-out.

The game will certainly act as a stiff test for Vera Pauw’s side, as they take on a French team that made it to the last four of last summer’s European championships, and are currently ranked fifth in the world.

They have players like Selma Bacha, Wendie Renard and Kadidiatou Diani in their ranks, all of whom were in the top 20 in the women’s Balon d’Or rankings in 2022.

“We did explore the possibility of hosting this game in Aviva Stadium but it was not available due to scheduled pitch redevelopment work,” said FAI CEO Jonathan Hill.

“We are now aiming to sell out Tallaght Stadium for what will be the perfect way to send the Ireland team off to the World Cup.”

It certainly will be.

The clash with such a high-class of opposition will prepare the Irish women’s team ahead of their World Cup group matches against Australia, Canada and Nigeria. It’ll be their final friendly game before they make the trip to Australia and New Zealand, with the competition beginning on Thursday July 20.

“It is fantastic that we will get to play in front of our fans in our home of Tallaght Stadium before going to Australia for the World Cup,” said Pauw.

“France are one of the top teams in the world and will provide us with the type of challenge that we require.

“A lot of hard work continues to be done around our preparations for the World Cup with some excellent games lined up. We are excited to be returning to Tallaght Stadium – that is where we have made so many great memories.”

Ireland begin their World Cup campaign against Australia in the 82,500-capacity Accor Stadium in Sydney – the game was originally scheduled for a smaller ground, but had to be changed due to the massive level of demand for tickets from both sides.