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Cruciate injury rules World Cup silver medallist out as Ireland name squad to face GB in Belfast

Sean Dancer’s Green Army are in action on home soil this weekend as they ramp up preparations for summer.

Zoe Wilson (left) has been ruled out, with Nikki Evans and Chloe Watkins included.
Zoe Wilson (left) has been ruled out, with Nikki Evans and Chloe Watkins included.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

IRELAND HAVE NAMED a much-changed squad to face Great Britain in a three-match series in Belfast this weekend.

The SoftCo Series takes place at Queen’s University, Belfast, and represents the first home games for the women’s team since December 2019 as they ramp up their preparations for the summer.

Zoe Wilson is a notable absentee for the 2018 World Cup silver medallists, a cruciate injury ruling her out, likely both this weekend and for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Wilson sustained the devastating setback in the final game of a series against Spain earlier this year.

She has since undergone surgery, and “her recovery is progressing well,” according to Hockey Ireland.

With a mixture of youth and experience in the squad, Michelle Carey and Zara Malseed are the uncapped pair among the 24, with Caoimhe Perdue also travelling, taking part in training sessions and gaining valuable exposure to senior international hockey.

“These matches give us the opportunity to test an extended group of players against a world class team,” Ireland boss Sean Dancer said.

“Niamh Carey performed well as a late replacement on the Spanish tour in January and Sarah McAuley has shown competitiveness and composure in defence in recent inter squad matches.

“I look forward to getting back to high quality international matches with the squad at the weekend.”

Earlier this year, the Green Army recorded two wins, two draws and one loss in a January series of friendlies against Spain in Murcia.

These upcoming uncapped games will provide some timely preparation ahead of June’s European Championships in Amsterdam — which will also serve as 2022 World Cup qualification — and of course, the Tokyo Olympics in July.

Ireland squad

Beth Barr, Michelle Carey, Niamh Carey, Naomi Carroll, Elizabeth Colvin, Nicola Daly, Deirdre Duke, Nicola Evans, Megan Frazer, Sarah Hawkshaw, Zara Malseed, Hannah Matthews, Sarah McAuley, Shirley McCay, Ayeisha McFerran, Hannah McLoughlin, Kathryn Mullan (captain), Elizabeth Murphy, Anna O’Flanagan, Grace O’Flanagan, Elena Tice, Sarah Torrans, Roisin Upton, Chloe Watkins.

Fixtures

Match 1: Saturday, 13 March, 2pm

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Match 2: Sunday, 14 March, 5pm

Match 3: Tuesday, 16 March, 3pm

Sunday’s match will be broadcast live on RTÉ 2 and RTÉ Player [coverage from 4:30pm], with all three matches streamed on the BBC Sport NI website and on BBC iPlayer.

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

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