The Republic of Ireland are currently joint top of Group 8 in their World Cup qualifying campaign, level on ten points with World Cup holders Italy. Pim Verbeek's Australian side is currently ranked 27th in the FIFA world rankings, two places above Ireland and includes many players well known to Irish football fans including Scott McDonald (Celtic), Harry Kewell (Galatasaray) and Tim Cahill (Everton). The friendly will provide an opportunity for preparation ahead of the World Cup Qualifier inCyprus on September 5.
Announcing the agreement with the FAI, Thomond Park Stadium Director, John Cantwell said:
"On behalf of Thomond Park Stadium and Munster Rugby, I am delighted to be in a position to announce the first major football fixture in Thomond Park. We are very pleased that the FAI has agreed to bring international football toThomond Park andLimerick. It has always been our objective in the redevelopment of the stadium to work with leading sports bodies to attract major sports events to the city. It is a great boost forLimerick and the many football and sports fans throughout the region who now have opportunity to watch international football on their doorstep. We are looking forward to working with the FAI to stage this memorable event."
John Delaney, Chief Executive Officer of the Football Association of Ireland said:
"I am very happy to have reached this agreement with Thomond Park Stadium. I thank the Stadium's management and Board for their foresight in opening up Thomond Park to other sports which will enable us to bring senior international football toLimerick for the first time. Thomond Park is a great sporting venue and we look forward to an exciting game againstAustralia in August."
Ticket and event information will be made available closer to the match date on both www.fai.ie and www.thomondpark.ie