Vera Pauw’s Girls in Green face opening night clash with co-hosts Australia after Women’s World Cup draw made

The Republic of Ireland will have the honor of playing on the opening day of the 2023 World Cup finals after today’s draw placed them in a group with co-hosts Australia as well as Canada and Nigeria.

An hour after the draw began in Auckland today, the Republic were drawn from Pot 3 and added to Group B which already contained Australia and Canada. And Ireland being drawn as Team 2 in that group meant they would be up against Australia on the opening night, taking on the Matildas in Sydney on Thursday, July 20, with a trip to Perth to face the Canadians on Wednesday, July 26 and then a final. group game against Nigeria in Brisbane on Monday 31 July.

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The tournament will begin when fellow co-historians New Zealand take on Norway.

Vera Pauw will be quite pleased with the draw as the Republic avoided real heavyweights like USA, Sweden, Germany and European champions England and now has time to prepare for that big occasion in the opening game in Sydney.

Canada will provide very strong opposition as they are ranked seventh in the world having qualified for the World Cup finals on eight previous occasions. Their best performance came with a fourth-place finish in 2003 and they are in impressive form, with just one defeat in their last 12 internationals.

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Canadian players such as Adriana Leon (Manchester United) and Kadeisha Buchanan (Chelsea) will be familiar to Irish players in the Women’s Super League.

Australia are ranked 13th in the world and have a strong European influence, with a Swedish coach and a squad made up of players who mainly play for European clubs, notably captain Sam Kerr, the Chelsea star who scored an astonishing 59 international goals.

Nigeria is one of the powerhouses of the women’s game in Africa, qualifying for the World Cup finals every time, with a quarter-final in 1999.

England have been drawn in Group D alongside Denmark, China and either Senegal, Haiti or Chile.

The European champions’ first game will be against the winner of an intercontinental play-off, with Chile waiting to play the winner of a clash between Senegal or Haiti to claim a place in the group.

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England’s matches will be played in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide.

Full extraction

Group A

New zealand




Group B


Republic of Ireland



Group C


Costa Rica



Group D


Intercontinental Play-off The winner of Group B in the play-off



Group E




Intercontinental Play-off Winner of Group A in the play-off

Group F




Intercontinental play-off Group C play-off winner

Group G


South Africa




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