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Hockey: Tour to boost olympic bid

Eight matches against world-class opposition have been arranged to boost the Irish women's team's bid to reach the Olympic Games.

The IHA has persuaded ESB Electric Ireland to put up the money for a trip to Argentina in December to contest four-nation tournaments in Buenos Aires and Parana.

The trip will feature eight games in 12 days, with South Africa and India also involved with the hosts.

"It's an opportunity to assess the development of the team moving forward to the Olympic qualifiers," said national high performance director Dave Passmore.

The best-prepared side ever to come out of Ireland failed to live up to its potential when finishing sixth in the European championships last month. Gene Muller's side are due to take part in a winner-takes-all Olympic qualifier in the new year in India, Belgium or Japan.

Irish Independent