Stephen Dunmoye

Following the draw of the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Auckland/Tâmaki Makaurau on Saturday, which pitted Nigeria in Group B alongside joint-hosts Australia, reigning Olympic champions Canada and debutant the Republic of Ireland, Vera Pauw, Ireland coach, says she’s cautious after they were pitted against the Super Falcons.

Pauw said, “That opening game versus Australia, wow – it’s fantastic. There’s a huge Irish community in Australia and I think a lot of people over there will face a bit of a dilemma over who they support in that one!

“It’s a bit of a shame that we drew Nigeria the toughest team in Pot 4, but we won’t fear anyone. It’s a tough group but a very exciting one.”

Nigeria, USA, Brazil, Norway, Sweden, Germany and Japan are the only seven countries to have featured in all previous editions of the Women’s World Cup since it began in China in 1991.