Gene Muller has named a 17-player squad for this weekend’s double-header against Belgium with Eimear Cregan, Lauren Barr, Alex Speers, Megan Frazer, Emma Stewart, and Niamh Atcheler all not included from last week’s Spanish training week.
Nicci Daly (pictured in action for Loreto) and Audrey O’Flynn are both in line for international debuts while Julia O’Halloran could return after a year’s absence.
Speaking about the fixtures, Muller said: “The matches against Belgium will be our first competitive international matches since the European championships in August last year.
“I was very happy with our progress in the week long training camp in Spain and the team are looking forward to playing international matches.
“Belgium are an emerging force in European hockey and have recently attained A division status. The matches will be very competitive and good preparation for the World Cup qualifiers in April this year.”
Ireland will play on Friday and Sunday in games currently scheduled to be played in Nivelles though this could change depending on the weather situation.
Ireland squad: Emma Clarke (Leicester), Bridget Cleland (Ballymoney), Lizzie Colvin (Loreto), Nicci Daly (Loreto), Roisin Flinn (Old Alex), Mary Goode (Bray), Louisa Healy (Loreto), Michelle Harvey (Pegasus), Lisa Jacob (UCD), Rachel Mulligan (Armagh), Audrey O’Flynn (UCC), Shirley McCay (Dragons), Julia O’Halloran (UCC),
Cliodhna Sargent (Cork Harlequins), Niamh Small (Loreto), Emma Smyth (Railway Union), Nikki Symmons (Loreto)