Football/Soccer

Republic of Ireland to face China as part of 2023 World Cup preparations

Republic of Ireland manager Vera Pauw will use next month's friendly against China as preparation for the World Cup finals (Brian Lawless/PA)
Damian Spellman, PA

Republic of Ireland boss Vera Pauw will send her team into friendly battle with China as part of their preparations for this summer’s World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand.

Ireland will face the AFC Women’s Asian Cup winners, who they have never played before, at the Estadio Nuevo Mirador on Wednesday, February 22 during a 10-day training camp in Marbella, Spain.

Pauw said: “It is vital to our preparations for the World Cup that we make the most of every opportunity that we have together as a squad because we only have three international windows left before that tournament starts in July. This training camp will be key to those preparations.

“China are a technically very good team who will be different from the type of teams we have come up against before. Playing against them gives us the chance to experience the pressure of international football against a highly skilled opponent.

“As part of the February training camp, we will also play against Germany in what we have agreed will be a behind-closed-doors game. This will be an excellent test for our players.”

China, World Cup runners-up in 1999, are currently ranked 14th in the world, nine places above the Republic, who have been drawn in Group B along with co-hosts Australia, Nigeria and Canada.

Football/Soccer