The IHA have released a busy summer schedule of international ties with the Irish women playing 17 games between now and September while the men will play their first ties on home soil in late June for two years.In addition, the Under-21 European championships will see both the men and women in action, aiming for promotion to the upper echelons.
It is all part of the extended lead-in to 2015’s World League round two when Ireland’s senior teams will be looking to take a step further down the route toward Olympic qualification.
Among the highlights is the arrival of world number five side New Zealand in July for a women’s Four Nations event that also features Canada and Chile.
Indeed, the IHA have done well to pin down international games against sides preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Of the eight games the men will play, the big ones are in London in July when they meet South Africa, England and Scotland in the London Cup.
Prior to that, Craig Fulton’s side take on Wales in Dublin, the first time since a Tri-Nations tournament in the summer of 2012 that an Irish men’s team played a home international game.
For the Under-21s, there is just one official build-up game for the men – playing the Wales senior side – before they travel to Portugal while the women have none before their trip to Vienna.
** Senior Women
Tri-Nations, Mori, Italy (Ireland/Wales/Italy)
Thursday, June 26: Ireland vs Italy, 5.30pm
Friday, June 27: Ireland vs Wales, 5.30pm
Sunday, June 29: Ireland vs Italy, 3pm (Test match)
Women’s Four Nations, Ireland (Ireland/New Zealand/Chile/Canada)
Saturday, July 12: Ireland v New Zealand/Canada v Chile
Sunday, July 13: Ireland v Canada/New Zealand v Chile
Tuesday, July 15: Ireland v Chile/Canada v New Zealand
Wednesday, July 16: Classification Matches.
Wednesday, August 13: Spain v France
Thursday, August 14: Ireland v Spain
Friday, August 15: Ireland v France
Saturday, August 16: Spain v France
Sunday, August 17: Ireland v Spain
Monday, August 18: Ireland v France
Tuesday, August 19: Spain v France
Wednesday, August 20: Ireland v Spain
Thursday, August 21: Ireland v France
Three-Test series, Dublin
Sunday, September 21: Ireland v Italy
Monday, September 22: Ireland v Italy
Wednesday, September 24: Ireland v Italy
** Senior Men
Saturday, June 28: Ireland vs Wales, Dublin
Sunday, June 29: Ireland vs Wales, Dublin
Friday, July 4: Ireland vs England, Dublin
Saturday, July 5: Ireland vs England, Dublin
Investec London Cup; London, England (Ireland/England/Scotland/South Africa)
Wednesday, July 9: Ireland v South Africa, 5.15pm
Thursday, July 10: Ireland v Scotland, 5.15pm
Saturday, July 12: Ireland v England, 12pm
Sunday, July 13: Cross over match, 9.45am/2.45pm
** Under-21 Men
Thursday June 26: Men’s U21 vs Wales senior team (venue: tbc)
U-21 European Championships (Men) Lousada, Portugal (all local times)
Monday, July 14: Ireland v Russia, 4pm
Tuesday, July 15: Ireland v Ukraine, 4pm
Wednesday, July 16: Ireland v Portugal, 6pm
Friday, July 18/Saturday, July 19: Classification matches
** Under-21 Women
U-21 Europeans, Vienna, Austria (all local times)
Monday, July 14: Ireland v Scotland, 3pm
Wednesday, July 16: Ireland v Austria, 5pm
Thursday, July 17: Ireland v Belarus, 3pm
Saturday, July 19/Sunday, July 20: Classification matches