Ireland will contest two international friendlies at Thomond Park later this year after today’s announcement that Giovanni Trapattoni’s side will take on 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa in September, one month after they host Australia at the Limerick venue.
Today’s announcement by the FAI completes Ireland’s international schedule for the rest of the year. The game against South Africa will serve as further preparation ahead of their closing World Cup qualifying double-header against Italy and Montenegro at Croke Park in October.
Ireland remain undefeated in their World Cup qualifying campaign and are currently joint top of Group 8 alongside holders Italy. They have 10 points after February’s 2-1 comeback win over Georgia at GAA headquarters.
The game against South Africa on Tuesday, September 8th will be a good test for Trapattoni’s side as the Bafana-Bafana is likely to feature Premier League players such as Blackburn’s Benni McCarthy and Aaron Mokoena plus Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar.
Ticket, kick-off time and event information regarding the match will be known closer to the time and will be made available on the FAI's website ( www.fai.ie ) and www.thomondpark.ie. Ticket prices will start from €25 for adults and an allocation will be made available to schoolboy clubs at the normal international friendly match price of €7 per ticket.
At the start of March the FAI confirmed the Australia friendly for August 12th when a little piece of history will be made as it will be the first senior soccer international to be played in Limerick.
Ireland are next in action on Saturday, March 28th when they take on Bulgaria in their qualifier at Croke Park, before they travel to Bari to face Italy the following Wednesday (April 1st).
Following that another friendly will take place on May 29th when Ireland take on Nigeria at Fulham’s home ground, Craven Cottage in London. This match takes place before Ireland’s away trip to Bulgaria in their qualifier on Saturday, June 6th. They are also due to take on Cyprus at the start of September.