Ireland will travel to Japan this summer for a two-Test series in Shizuoka and Tokyo.

An extended panel will meet for a series of summer camps at the IRFU High Performance Centre before travelling to Japan in August for back-to-back matches against the host nation.

Greg McWilliams' side will open the series at Ecopa Stadium in Fukuroi City, Shizuoka on Saturday 20 August, and then play a second Test against Lesley McKenzie's team a week later at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo.

The two teams most recently met during the 2021 November Tests at the RDS in Dublin, with Ireland earning a 15-12 win on that occasion.

Japan, ranked 12th in the world, are coming off the back of a historic Test win over Australia and are currently preparing for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand this October.

Ireland finished fourth in this year's TikTok Women's Six Nations thanks to a last-gasp win against Scotland in their final game.

"The Six Nations was the first staging post on our journey together as a squad and a summer programme, including two Tests against Japan, is an exciting opportunity for us to build on that," said McWilliams.

"We will come together as an extended squad in July and it will be invaluable for us as a coaching staff to have the chance to work with a number of new players, including those who have impressed in the Energia Women's All-Ireland League and in the recent U18 Women's Six Nations Festival.

Ireland head coach Greg McWilliams

"The invitational series will then give us the opportunity to spend time together as a group, build cohesion, learn and grow and test ourselves against a very strong Japan team in their home conditions. It will be a hugely beneficial development opportunity for us as we work hard to progress as a team."

Ireland captain Nichola Fryday added: "We finished the TikTok Women's Six Nations campaign on a high with that memorable win over Scotland in Belfast, and it's now exciting for us to turn our attention to Japan this summer.

"We're in the process of building under Greg the coaching team and it is important we continue to move forward with contact time together and exposure to Test match situations.

"It will be hugely exciting to lead the group in Japan and we will work hard over the coming weeks and months to continue on an upward trajectory on this journey, heading towards 2023 TikTok Women's Six Nations and beyond."

Japan v Ireland, Saturday 20 August, Ecopa Stadium

Japan v Ireland, Saturday 27 August, Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium

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