Brown to lead new Ireland indoor team in South Africa
Six Ulster players have been named in the Ireland women's indoor hockey squad to play six test matches against South Africa in Durban and Cape Town next month.
The series, scheduled for December 4-10, will be part of the preparation for the European Championship in Bratislava at the end of January.
In Tori Hastings, Jessica McMaster and Erin Getty, Queen's University supply three members of the 14-strong squad which will travel to the southern hemisphere.
Ards, who won the Irish title for a record seven years in a row until they lost their crown last season, have two players involved with Caroline Adams and Amy Benson both included.
Former Ards player Chloe Brown, now in her second season with top English side East Grinstead, completes the Ulster contingent and has been named as co-captain.
Brown is recognised as one of the best indoor hockey players around and she scored more than 30 goals in Ards colours when they contested six European Championships.
Another outdoor international, Catholic Institute forward Naomi Carroll, returns to Ireland action after spending almost a year out due to injury.
The trip to Bratislava in the New Year marks the return of Irish international hockey to the European stage after a gap of more than a quarter of a century.
Coached by Dave Passmore, Ireland will be up against hosts Slovakia, Slovenia, Portugal, Denmark, Finland and Spain.
Ireland will also be sending a men's team to the European Championship and trials are ongoing before a squad is named for their tournament in Santander in January.
Both national teams must start in the bottom of three tiers as they are new participants and their aim will be to secure promotion into the second division for the 2022 events.
Ireland indoor women's squad for South Africa test series: Caroline Adams (Ards); Sophie Barnwell (Muckross); Amy Benson (Ards); Chloe Brown (East Grinstead); Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute); Orla Fox (Railway Union); Erin Getty (Queen's); Tori Hastings (Queen's); Kate McKenna (Railway Union); Jessica McMaster (Queen's); Roisin O'Brien (Glenanne); Orla Patton (UCD); Millie Regan (East Grinstead); Niamh Small (Loreto).