Junior Age Groups begin series of 30 fixtures this week

The Irish underage teams begin a series of over 30 games this week with the Under-23s in Belgium, the Under-18s at the European Championships in Santander and the Under-16s hosting a Six Nations in Cork.

The Under-23s start on Saturday morning with the women facing India at 9.30am (Irish time) with the men in action at 11am against the same opposition.

For the women, it follows a couple of midweek warm-up wins over Belgium while the men played the Irish senior men last weekend.

Looking forward to the competition, coach Jonny Caren said: “This is another fantastic opportunity for us to develop our U21 players in a non major competition year, with high caliber opposition in both European and Asian teams.

“With us missing four of our players to the senior program as they compete for their spot in the World Cup squad, it enables us to look at players in a high pressure tournament environment that we maybe wouldn’t have been able to before.

“With promising performances in the USA Junior 3 Nations tournament in May, this will be a step up to challenge our team on the next level competing against U-23 teams.”

The side features Keith O’Hare who has senior international caps and nine of the squad that played in last year’s Under-21 Euros.

The Under-18s are in Santander for the Europeans with the girls starting a tough group on Sunday morning against Germany before taking on Belarus and then England. The boys are grouped with the Netherlands, France and Belgium.

Finally, at the Mardyke, it is Ireland’s turn to host the annual Under-16 Six Nations tournament with the boys and girls starting their competitions against the Dutch.

Women’s Under-23 Six Nations (Antwerp)
Saturday, July 14: Ireland v India, 10.30am
Sunday, July 15: Ireland v Netherlands, 10.30am
Tuesday, July 17: Ireland v Canada, 12pm
Wednesday, July 18: Ireland v Great Britain, 12pm
Friday, July 20: Ireland v Belgium, 1.30pm
Saturday, July 21: Crossovers

Men’s Under-23 Five Nations (Antwerp):
Saturday, July 14: Ireland v India, 12pm
Sunday, July 15: Ireland v Netherlands, 12pm
Wednesday, July 18: Ireland v Great Britain, 1.30pm
Friday, July 20: Ireland v Belgium, 6pm
Saturday, July 21: Crossovers

Girls European Under-18 Championship (Santander):
Sunday, July 15: Ireland v Germany, 9.45am
Monday, July 16: Ireland v Belarus, 1.15pm
Wednesday, July 18: Ireland v England, 2.45pm
July 20/21: classification matches

Boys European Under-18 Championship (Santander):
July 15: Ireland v Netherlands, 10am
July 16: Ireland v France, 5.45pm
July 18: Ireland v Belgium, 12pm
July 20/21: classification matches

Boys Under-16s Six Nations (The Mardyke, Cork)
Sunday, July 15: Ireland v Netherlands, 3pm
Tuesday, July 17: Ireland v England, 4pm
Wednesday, July 18: Ireland v Spain, 3pm
Friday, July 20: Ireland v Belgium, 2pm
Saturday, July 21: Ireland v Germany, 5pm

Girls Under-16 Six Nations (The Mardyke, Cork)
Sunday, July 15: Ireland v Netherlands, 1pm
Monday, July 16: Ireland v England, 4pm
Wednesday, July 18: Ireland v Spain, 1pm
Thursday, July 19: Ireland v Belgium, 4pm
Saturday, July 21: Ireland v Germany, 3pm

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