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Griggs' Ireland set for busy end to 2020 as World Cup European qualifier dates confirmed

A huge end to this unprecedented year lies ahead.

The Ireland Women are facing into Six Nations clashes and World Cup qualifiers.
The Ireland Women are facing into Six Nations clashes and World Cup qualifiers.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

ADAM GRIGGS’ IRELAND Women are looking at a clearer picture after the dates for the postponed fixtures of the Rugby World Cup [RWC] 2021 European Qualifiers were announced today.

With their remaining Six Nations fixture details confirmed last week — Italy in Round 4 on the weekend of 24 October, and France in Round 5 on the weekend of 31 October — the Girls In Green are facing into a busy end-of-2020 as they bid to book a spot at the next year’s World Cup in New Zealand.

Rugby Europe confirmed that the all-important clashes will be played as a single round-robin tournament on the weekends of 5, 12 and 19 December 2020. They were originally due to take place in September, but postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ireland’s Six Nations rivals Scotland and Italy will join them at the tournament, along with the winner of the Women’s Rugby Europe Championship 2020, which is due to be completed in October (Reigning champions Spain, Russia and Netherlands are among the teams in action there.)

The winner of the Rugby World Cup 2021 European Qualifiers will qualify for New Zealand 2021 and the runner-up will progress to the final qualification tournament, which will be organised by World Rugby next year.

Italy and Scotland will face off in the first game of the European Qualifiers, with the full schedule of fixtures and details to be announced in early November following the conclusion of the Women’s Rugby Europe Championship 2020.

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Much-improved Ireland opened their 2020 Six Nations with two brilliant home wins against Scotland and Wales before falling to all-conquering England just before the Covid-enforced shutdown.

Sevens star Hannah Tyrrell recently retired from the sport after six years to focus on her 15s game.

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