|European Championships: Northern Ireland, July 2002|
Italians are the first to arrive
16 July 2002
The first of the 11 visiting sides are already in town and today (Tuesday) have the first of two practice games. Italy, one of Ireland's opponents in Group A, flew into Belfast yesterday and have a busy week ahead of their opening game, against the ECB XI at Upritchard Park on Friday.
Today they will meet a North Down XI at Comber and tomorrow they face Austria, one of the Group B teams, who arrive in town today, with Gibraltar.
None of the other countries have asked for practice matches although all bar Scotland, Ireland's first opponents at Wallace Park on Friday, are due to fly in tomorrow.