Ireland Women to play two summer tests in Japan

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The Ireland Women will travel to Japan this summer following an invitation from World Rugby to help Japan prepare for the Rugby World Cup.

Greg McWilliams’ side will play the Sakura Fifteen in a two-Test Series which will form part of a summer development programmeAn extended Ireland squad will come together for a series of summer camps at the IRFU High Performance Centre before travelling to Japan in August for back-to-back matches against the host nation.McWilliams’ side will open the Series against Japan at Ecopa Stadium in Fukuroi City, Shizuoka on Saturday 20th August. The second Test against Lesley McKenzie’s side will be a week later, on Saturday 27th August, at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo.

Sides last met in November 2021

The two teams most recently faced each other during the 2021 November Tests at the RDS in Dublin, with Ireland earning a 15-12 win on that occasion.Japan, currently ranked 12th in the world, are coming off the back of a historic Test win over Australia and are currently preparing for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in October.“The TikTok Women’s Six Nations was the first staging post on our journey together as a squad and a summer programme, including two Tests against Japan, is an exciting opportunity for us to build on that,” McWilliams says.“We will come together as an extended squad in July and it will be invaluable for us as a coaching staff to have the chance to work with a number of new players, including those who have impressed in the Energia Women’s All-Ireland League and in the recent U18 Women’s Six Nations Festival.

Nichola Fryday looking forward to Japanese games

Ireland captain Nichola Fryday commented:

“We finished the TikTok Women’s Six Nations campaign on a high with that memorable win over Scotland in Belfast to secure third place, and it is now exciting for us to turn our attention to an Invitational Series against Japan this summer.”Kick-off times and broadcast details for the two-Test Series against Japan will be confirmed in due course.

Ireland Women v Japan, August 2022:

Japan v Ireland, Saturday 20th August, Ecopa Stadium

Japan v Ireland, Saturday 27th August, Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium.

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