An hour after the convoluted draw started in Auckland today, the Republic were drawn out of pot 3 and added to Group B which already contained Australia and Canada. And Ireland being drawn as Team 2 in that group meant they would be first up against Australia on opening night, taking on the Matildas in Sydney on Thursday July 20th, with a trip to Perth to face the Canadians on Wednesday July 26th and then a final group game against Nigeria in Brisbane on Monday July 31st.
The tournament will kick off when the other co-hoists New Zealand take on Norway.
Vera Pauw will be reasonably pleased with the draw as the Republic avoided the real heavyweights like USA, Sweden, Germany and European champions England and she now has time to prepare for that big occasion of the opening night game in Sydney.
Canada will provide very stiff opposition as they are ranked seventh in the world, as they have qualified for the World Cup finals on eight previous occasions. Their best performance came with a fourth-place finish in 2003 and they are on an impressive run of form, just one defeat in their last 12 internationals.
Canadian players like Adriana Leon (Manchester United) and Kadeisha Buchanan (Chelsea) will be familiar to the Irish players in the Women's Super League.
Australia are 13th in the world and have a strong European influence, with a Swedish coach and a squad made up of players who mainly play for European clubs, notably captain Sam Kerr, the Chelsea star who has scored an astonishing 59 international goals.
Nigeria are one of the powerhouses of the women's game in Africa, having qualified for the World Cup finals on each occasion with a quarter-final finish in 1999.
England have been drawn into Group D alongside Denmark, China and either Senegal, Haiti or Chile.
The European champions’ first match will be against the winner of an intercontinental play-off, with Chile waiting to play the victor of a clash between Senegal or Haiti to claim a place in the group.
England’s games will take place in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide.
Republic of Ireland
Intercontinental play-off Group B Play-off winner
Intercontinental play-off Group A Play-off winner
Intercontinental play-off Group C Play-off Winner