Ipswich Town’s history with Australia and New Zealand ahead of Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final

Tommy Oar

Tommy Oar - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ahead of Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final, we look at the men from the other side of the world who have turned out for Ipswich Town

Can New Zealand become the first country to retain the Rugby World Cup

Can New Zealand become the first country to retain the Rugby World Cup - Credit: AP

Two rugby giants collide on Saturday when Australia and New Zealand meet in the Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham, with a number of former Blues players likely to be cheering their countries on. We take a look at them here

The Australians

Tommy Oar: The only current Aussie in the Town squad, the winger arrived on a free transfer in the summer after leaving FC Utrecht in Dutch football. His start to life at Portman Road has been a promising one, but he struggled in recent weeks after suffering a concussion in the 0-0 draw with Huddersfield. Has won 27 caps for his country,

Patrick Kisnorbo: Ipswich fans didn’t see the best of Kisnorbo, who didn’t show anywhere near the form he’d previously shown for Leicester and then Leeds, when he arrived in 2013. He only played four times for Ipswich before eventually moving back to Australia to play for Melbourne City FC, where he currently plays alongside former Sunderland, Aston Villa and Stoke stopper Thomas Sorensen and ex-Newcastle defender Aaron Hughes.

Massimo Luongo: The tricky midfielder looked good during his pre-season with the Blues in 2012 but, as a teenager experiencing Championship football for the first time, he struggled to make an impact during his loan from Tottenham. He eventually returned to Spurs after 12 games and joined Swindon Town in League One, where he was a central part of the side which made it to last season’s play-off final and earned himself a multi-million pound move to QPR.

Internationally, he burst onto the scene at January’s Asian Cup where he was named tournament MVP as the Aussies claimed victory on home soil. His performances also secured him a position on the long list for the 2015 Ballon D’or.

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Andy Bernal: The defender, born in Canberra, spent three years with the Blues between 1987 and 1990, after arriving from Sporting Gijon, but only featured 11 times for Ipswich. He then returned to Australian football with Sydney Olympic, before coming back to England and playing close to 200 times for Reading until his retirement in 2000. Once his playing career was over, he became a personal assistant to former England skipper and global icon David Beckham.

Andrew Petterson: The Aussie goalkeeper only played twice for the Blues, with one game each coming in separate loan spells in 1993 and 1995. In total he played for 17 English clubs before returning to Australia with Newcastle United Jets in 2005.

The New Zealanders

Tommy Smith: The centre-back is currently the Blues’ longest serving player, clocking up 221 appearances since making his debut in 2008, and has 29 caps for his country. Born in Macclesfield, Smith spent time living in New Zealand as a youngster and, as a result, holds dual nationality.

He represented England at under 17 and 18 levels but switched his senior allegance to New Zealand, for whom he has played at a World Cup and the Olympic Games.

Chris Wood: The big striker’s spell with the Blues at the end of last season didn’t prove as fruitful as many hoped, as he failed to score in his eight appearances. He has, however, been capped 39 times for his country and has scored 13 goals, the ninth most in New Zealand football history.

Rory Fallon: Another loanee forward, Fallon featured six times for Paul Jewell after arriving on a temporary deal from Plymouth, with his big moment coming at Coventry where he gave Ipswich the lead in a game which ultimately finished 1-1. He’s played 18 times for New Zealand and scored four goals.

Lee Norfolk: Born in Dunedin, midfielder Norfolk came through the youth system at Portman Road and turned out for the first team three times between 1994 and 1997 as well as featuring for New Zealand under 17s. Since his release, he’s played non-league football locally for the likes of King’s Lynn, Cambridge, Sudbury, Needham and Felixstowe and Walton United.

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