INTERIM boss Jon Grey believes Wales are ready to qualify for a major tournament after being in charge for an excellent 2-0 friendly win against the Republic of Ireland.

New manager Rhian Wilkinson, a former Canada international and England and Team GB assistant, was among a crowd of 8,218 at Tallaght Stadium a day after her appointment as Gemma Grainger’s replacement following her departure for Norway.

She looked on as interim manager Grey guided Wales to a deserved win over a side which qualified for the 2023 World Cup finals.

Wales great Jess Fishlock and Seattle Reign club-mate Lily Woodham secured victory in their final game before the Euro 2025 qualifying campaign.

Grey said: "It was fantastic performance by the girls. We had some real good moments in the game.

"We've worked on a couple of things this week in possession and we need to look again at some of the things we need to do with the ball, but that'll come with them and they're a special group.

"They're ready to qualify (for a major tournament). They just need to tidy up a little bit in possession and go from there."

The visitors made the brighter start and took the lead with just eight minutes gone when the Irish defence failed to deal with a corner.

Goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan managed to deny skipper Sophie Ingle at the far post, 37-year-old Fishlock was on hand to slot home from close range when Hayley Ladd drove the ball back across goal.

Leanne Kiernan floated a shot onto the roof of Olivia Clark’s net after being played into space down the left by Katie McCabe, and the Wales keeper pulled off a fine double save to keep out Caitlin Hayes’ header and Amber Barrett’s follow-up as the hosts responded in determined fashion.

However, Wales doubled their advantage with 22 minutes played when the ball fell to full-back Woodham on the edge of the penalty area and she smashed a shot past Brosnan and into the top corner with the outside of her left foot.

Elise Hughes was unable to make the most of an opening carved out by Fishlock and Rachel Rowe scuffed a shot straight at Brosnan five minutes before the break.

Ireland head coach Eileen Gleeson made a triple change at the break as she sent on Louise Quinn, Emily Murphy and Kyra Carusa for Diane Caldwell, Kiernan and Barrett and her side gradually dragged themselves into the game.

Hughes drilled a 62nd-minute shot into Brosnan’s midriff, but neither side was able to exert any real control in an increasingly scrappy contest, and the home side’s woes increased 17 minutes from time when McCabe limped off injured.

Substitute Ceri Holland might have increased Wales’ lead but for a solid save from Brosnan with 10 minutes remaining, but victory was already assured.