PREVIEW | Northern Ireland vs Republic of Ireland

THE international netball calendar has not quite wrapped up yet for 2023, with one last series to go before Christmas time.

The last series of the year is in Northern Ireland, with the Warriors of the north set to face their southern neighbours the Republic of Ireland in a two match series.

Both sides would love nothing more than to chalk up a win against their rivals and at the end of a year starved of opportunities for both teams, they will be itching at the bit to get out on court.

Northern Ireland does not have a lot of big names in their side, but do have a number of players playing in the English Netball Super League, so those players have experience against some of the top athletes in the world. These include Warriors captain and Leeds Rhino Caroline O’Hanlon and recently announced Storm vice-captain Niamh Cooper.

Meanwhile the Republic of Ireland – known as the Emeralds – is a lot less experienced than their northern neighbours. None of their players play in the big leagues of the world, and many do not have many years experience in the senior Emeralds side.

The Republic will be looking to the experience of the likes captain Fran Duffy to help guide them this series.

The Emeralds are coming off playing in a match against the British Army side last weekend that was a curtain raiser to the match between the English Roses and South Africa.

Unfortunately the series will not be streamed, but fans on the island of Ireland can buy their tickets and head along to Ards Blair Mayne Wellbeing and Leisure Complex in County Down to watch all the action.

Northern Ireland vs Republic of Ireland Squads

Northern Ireland

Niamh Cooper, Ciara Crosbie, Frances Keenan, Emma Magee, Michelle Magee, Evelyn McCagherty, Georgie McGrath, Caroline O’Hanlon, Orlaith Rogers, Fionnuala Toner, Lauren Walshe, Maria McCann* and Lisa Carlin**

Reserves: Olivia McCloskey and Orla McGeough

*Will be selected for the 12 in Test 1 and reserve for Test 2

** Will be selected for the 12 in Test 2 and reserve for Test 1

Republic of Ireland

Zara Anichebe, Beth Brennan, Millie Cox, Fran Duffy, Poppy Jones, Katie Knox, Ciara Lynch, Corey McGlynn, Sophie Murray, Niamh O’Leary, Annie O’Rourke and Niamh Reynolds

Reserves: Seren Redmond, Eryn Salako and Eve Wills

Northern Ireland vs Republic of Ireland Fixtures

Saturday December 16 – Ards Blair Mayne Wellbeing and Leisure Complex, Newtownards – 2pm

Sunday December 17 – Ards Blair Mayne Wellbeing and Leisure Complex, Newtownards – 11:30am

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