Ireland women facing tough draw
DESPITE last season's Grand Slam success, Ireland are likely to be handed a tough group from today's Women's World Cup draw.
Having achieved qualification by virtue of their superb Six Nations success, Philip Doyle's side have been seeded in the third pot alongside Wales and Spain. The top tier of teams includes New Zealand, England and Australia, while hosts France are in with Canada and USA in pool two.
Ireland will learn their fate when the draw takes place at 11.30 today in Paris. They will use the Six Nations as preparation for the tournament scheduled for August next year and will be looking to improve on 2010 when they finished sixth after missing out on the semi-finals stage and losing the fifth placed play-off to the US.
BAND 1: New Zealand, England, Australia
BAND 2: Canada, USA, France
BAND 3: Ireland, Wales, Spain
BAND 4: Kazakhstan, Samoa, South Africa
* Draw streamed on rwcwomens.com. Teams will be drawn into three pools from the four bands. Match schedules will be announced at a later date.