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The first four international matches that were played by England men were all against Ireland. They were in 1895, 1896, 1897 and 1898. As this was around the 'birth' of international hockey it is not altogether surprising to discover repeat fixtures against the same opposition because hockey was not being played in many countries at the time. However, it is a little surprising that the first ever international hockey match was between Wales and Ireland in 1895, a few months before England played their first ever match against Ireland. Why then did England and Wales not play each other in that three year period? Will we ever know?


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