Women's Sports: Ireland's Women's Hockey team to play on pop-up pitch for Olympic qualifiers

FIH Hockey World League - Women's Semi Finals: Day 3

Ireland Women's hockey team are set to play at a rugby pitch in Energia Park at Donnybrook following an agreement between them and Leinster Rugby.

A temporary synthetic hockey pitch is being built on top of the existing rugby field and is reportedly costing 250,000 euros. The Donnybrook is also the Irish home of the Women's Six Nations Championship in rugby. 

The team's match will be an Olympic qualifying game against Canada, where the winners will earn a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. If successful this will be the first time the Irish team have competed in the Olympics.

Jerome Pels, Hockey Ireland's chief executive, said: "This is a massive step for the sport in Ireland to play hockey in a venue of this size.

"A lot of time and research has been dedicated to establishing whether the event could take place here. Similar to England Hockey's successful use of an overlay carpet for their FIH Pro League match at The Stoop in London earlier this year, we're excited to bring this unique experience to Ireland."

Hockey has been one of the fastest-growing sports in Ireland after the Irish team won silver at the World Cup finals in 2018.

With this new pitch technology, they hope to gain even more participants and fans to the sport. The technology allows for the pitches to be used on both football and rugby pitches going forward.

The women's matches will take place on Nov 2-3 at 7pm GMT on both days and broadcast on RTE television.

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