Hockey: Scots women vie for promotion
Shepherd had laid out the perfect lead-up programme only to see Italy recently pull out of previously-arranged fixtures and then last week's postponement of planned matches with South Africa in Stirling. So he was eager to reschedule, given the high quality of opposition the Springboks will provide.
He said: "We've pulled out all the stops to get to Dublin and play at a neutral venue due to the visa problems, as it is important for the players to build a high level of performance going into the Europeans in Poznan."
South Africa played Belgium in Antwerp last weekend, winning the first match 4-1 then drawing the second 1-1 before the Belgians levelled the series with a 3-1 win in the final game.