Sarah Hawkshaw is relishing the "huge opportunity" against England on Friday morning as Ireland go in search of the last remaining World Cup ticket on offer from this week's EuroHockey Championships.

Sean Dancer’s side need to bounce back quickly from Wednesday’s draw with Spain which denied the Green Army a place in the last four of the tournament, missing out on a maiden semi-final on goal difference.

Should Ireland win both classification matches – aka 'Pool C', against England and Italy, a place at next year’s World Cup is assured.

The Green Army will meet England on Friday morning (10.30am Irish time, live on RTÉ Player) before taking on Italy on Saturday (3.30pm).

England find themselves in unfamiliar territory as this is the first time in 15 European Championships they will finish outside the top four.

As such, it makes for a big psychological – as well as tactical and physical – battle on Friday.

"It would be naïve to say it is easy to do. It was a huge opportunity and the closest we have been," says flying midfielder Hawkshaw.

"At the time [Spain draw], it was very hard. But we have been in this Pool C before. We have come together, talked about it, had honest conversations about how we felt so we can move on from it.

Hawkshaw in action against Great Britain's Lily Owsley earlier this year

"We are now really excited to push forward and play England. We have had a good few battles in the past few months against GB and most of the girls from that squad would be in the England squad and we have played some good hockey. And of course, the motivation is there to take them on.

"We do need to look at ourselves and our performance from that Spanish game. We need to to move the ball better. England are a good team, have a good defensive structure and work really hard. We have to move them and that comes from us, showing for the ball, giving good options, getting the ball to our high strikers."

Aside from the immediate importance of the tie, there would also be historical significance in victory. Ireland have yet to do so in a world ranking event and each of Ireland’s seven previous meetings with England have seen the latter prevail.

Hawkshaw up against Spain's Gigi Oliva during Wednesday's 1-1 draw

But Railway Union's Hawkshaw says the side will take a lot of impetus from their 2019 campaign when they came similarly close to reaching the semi-finals but bounced back to beat Belgium and Russia in Pool C.

"We can take a lot of confidence from that. I only saw the video a couple of days ago of the last couple of seconds of the Belgian game counting down, Shirley [McCay] crossing the ball for Anna [O’Flanagan].

It is a situation England haven't been in before so we take that as a positive

"It also shows how quickly the game can change. We need to get the ball into those areas which will be really important against England and something we haven’t got enough of. We have to get the ball into those areas because anything can happen.

"Huge confidence from that experience, we know what the stakes are. No room for error and we have to produce results. It is a situation England haven’t been in before so we take that as a positive."

Watch Ireland v England (Saturday 10.30am) in the EuroHockey Championships live on RTÉ Player and RTÉ News Channel