The Republic of Ireland could be facing a potential trip to New Zealand next spring if they're to qualify for the 2023 World Cup.

Vera Pauw's side currently occupy the play-off place in qualifying Group A ahead of a showdown meeting with Finland in September.

Just two of the runners-up in each of UEFA's nine qualifying groups will qualify via the play-offs, while a third team, with the worst record of the second round play-off winners, will enter an inter-continental repechage.

There will be three more qualifying spots available in that tournament, which is due to take place between 17 and 23 February next year.

The play-off matches will take place at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton and North Harbour Stadium in Auckland.

Thailand and Chinese Taipei have already secured their places in the shoot-out, and the remaining eight teams will be determined by the outcome of their continental qualifying campaigns, in the case of teams from Africa, North and Central America, Oceania and South America this month with Europe following suit in October.

FIFA's chief women’s football officer Sarai Bareman said: "The decision in 2019 to expand the FIFA Women’s World Cup from 24 to 32 teams has already had a significant impact on the wider growth and development of the women’s game.

"More nations now have the chance to play on the world’s biggest stage and this all starts with the play-off tournament.

"I cannot wait for fans to get their first taste of what to expect later next year when the play-off commences before the biggest women’s sporting event in the world kicks-off in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand on 20 July 2023."

Australia and New Zealand will jointly host the finals next summer, with the tournament set to kick off on 20 July.

China PR, Japan, Korea Republic, Philippines, Vietnam, France, Spain, Sweden and Denmark have already secured their places at the finals alongside co-hosts Australia and New Zealand.

Additional reporting: PA

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