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The Republic of Ireland will compete on the World's Biggest Stage.

Since beating Scotland in the World Cup play-off match, Ireland have qualified for their first world cup.

When playing Scotland, Ireland were without Aston Villa star Ruesha Littlejohn and Brighton midfielder Megan Connolly. Between them they have made over 110 caps for their nation.

They still managed to win this match 1-0 away in Glasgow. It showed what this small nation are all about.

In the Irish squad there is 3 players who still play for semi-professional teams, these players are; Aine O’Gorman, Abbie Larkin and Ciara Grant. Between the 3 players they have made over 140 caps for their country.

To help prepare for the World Cup, Ireland played USA who are ranked at number 1 in the FIFA world rankings and over two legs in America they lost 2-0.

Since getting qualification Ireland are ranked 24th in the world.

The Irish captain, Katie McCabe, has played in many finals and major competitions with her club, Arsenal. So she will be used to being in many high profiled and intense games. Whereas some of her Irish teammates have not yet witnessed that feeling.

McCabe plays in more of an attacking role for Ireland, which has allowed her to score 18 goals in her 72 appearances.

Aston Villa midfielder, Littlejohn will also be a massive bonus if she can get back to full fitness before the competition starts. The 31-year-old has made 71 caps for her country, but is currently getting back to fitness after having a deep laceration injury to her knee.

Ireland manager Vera Pauw, managed her home nation, Netherlands, to the semi-final of the 2009 Women’s Euros, but has never made it to the World Cup before she helped lead Ireland there this year.

The groups have been announced and Ireland will be joined by home nation Australia, Nigeria and Canada.

Their first match in the competition will take place on Thursday 20th July at 10am against Australia.

Can the Republic of Ireland shock everyone in the summer? How do you think they will do?

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