The former A-Leagues pair backed to be on Roos’ World Cup flight to Qatar

Keanu Baccus and Ryan Strain are one game into their Scottish Premiership careers with St Mirren, and the A-Leagues graduates are already making an impression.

Baccus and Strain joined the growing influx of Australians in Scotland’s top flight for the 2022-23 season, having arrived from Western Sydney Wanderers and Maccabi Haifa respectively.

While Strain swapped Israel for Scotland, he had previously emerged from Adelaide United in the Isuzu UTE A-League, where he spent four years.

The pair started St Mirren’s 1-0 season-opening defeat to Motherwell and while the team lost, head coach Stephen Robinson backed them to force their way into Graham Arnold’s World Cup plans.

“All the new players were very good,” Robinson said post-match.

“Ryan Strain and Keanu Baccus have got a great chance of getting to the World Cup with Australia if they keep playing with that sort of energy and quality.

“There’s a lot of positives and it’s not often you get a standing ovation at any club when you lose a game.

“But I think people could see the effort we put in. Sometimes it just doesn’t go your way.”

A two-time Australia Cup winner with Adelaide, Strain has history at St Mirren.

His grandfather, Gerry Baker, played for St Mirren and scored the third goal in their 3-1 Scottish Cup Final victory over Aberdeen in 1959.

Baker scored in every round of that tournament en route to the title.

The World Cup kicks off in November, with the Socceroos set to face defending champions France, Denmark and Tunisia in Group D in Qatar.