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Club News

Rovers World Cup Connections: Australia

30 May 2018

Club News

Rovers World Cup Connections: Australia

30 May 2018

With the World Cup about to begin in Russia, we look at connections between Bristol Rovers Football Club and the 32 participating countries.

In some cases these connections are strong and multiple; in others they are tenuous, at best. Australia are competing in their fifth World Cup Finals and their fourth in succession.

In the Aussies' 2018 Squad

Two members of the Australian World Cup provisional squad have played against Rovers in the Football League.

Tim Cahill is the better known name on this list, with 105 caps to his name and he played against Rovers for Millwall on six occasions between 1998 and 2001. He was sent off in February 2001 after scoring one of Millwall's goals in their 3-0 victory over The Gas.

James Meredith, who was in the Bradford City side which faced Rovers in the 2017/18 campaign, has just two caps to his name so far. In addition, defender Massimo Luongo, who has 34 caps to his name, was in the Ipswich Town side which defeated Rovers 3-1 in the League Cup in August 2012.

Sixteen Australian Internationals

In all, 37 Australian born opponents have faced Rovers in the Football League.

The first, Henry Higginbotham of Luton Town, born in Ashfield, New South Wales, was sent off at Eastville in February 1922 for a foul on Rovers' Bill Panes; the most recent was Sydney born Callum Elder who was in the Wigan Athletic side which drew 1-1 at The Mem in April 2018.

This figure includes 16 players who have also represented Australia in international football.

Tim Cahill has the largest number of international caps (105), closely followed by his erstwhile Millwall teammate Lucas Neill (96). In addition, three further Australian international caps have opposed Rovers in cup competitions.

Rovers in Australia

In May 1974 Rovers enjoyed a tour of the Far East, which took in four matches in Australia, two in Sydney and one each in Melbourne and Perth.

Since then, two Australian born players have played for the club, one of whom won international honours.

Melbourne born striker Danny Allsopp played in 4 (+2) League games in the autumn of 2000 and later won three full caps for Australia.

Aaron Downes, born in Mudgee, played eight League matches for Rovers on loan in 2012/13.

Rovers' Wally Hammond scored 251 for England against Australia in the second test in Sydney in 1928.


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