England drawn with Northern Ireland in Women’s World Cup qualifying
England and Northern Ireland have been drawn in the same qualifying group for the 2023 Women’s World Cup
Austria, North Macedonia, Latvia and Luxembourg will join them in Group D of the European section of qualifying as they look to reach the finals in Australia and New Zealand.
The Lionesses reached the semi-finals in 2019 before being beaten by eventual winners the United States, while Northern Ireland are aiming to reach their first finals having ended their major tournament duck earlier this year by qualifying for Euro 2022.
Scotland, who qualified for the last World Cup in France, were drawn in Group B with Spain, Ukraine, Hungary and the Faroe Islands.
Wales, who have not yet reached a major tournament, will be looking for a change in fortunes after being drawn in Group I alongside France, Slovenia, Greece, Kazakhstan and Estonia.
The Republic of Ireland were drawn in Group A, which contained Spain, Finland, Slovakia and Greece, and have also never qualified for a World Cup or European Championship.
Europe will supply up to 12 teams of the expanded finals, which will feature 32 nations for the first time.
The winners of each of the nine European qualifying groups will automatically qualify while each runner-up up will be entered into play-offs to decide two more places.
A final runner-up will take part in a 10-team tournament in Australia and New Zealand in February 2023, when they will play against teams from the other federations for one of the three final places.