Former Rovers youngster Ella Toone was on target as the Lionesses beat co-hosts Australia 3-1 to reach the World Cup final.

Toone opened the scoring with a ruthless strike 36 minutes into her second start of the tournament in front of a crowd of 75,784.

Australia got back on level terms after the break through Sam Kerr but Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo both struck to secure the victory.

Kiera Walsh and Georgia Stanway, who both came through the youth ranks at Rovers, also started for Sarina Weigman’s side.

Toone arrived as a teenager following the disbanding of Manchester United’s senior set-up and scored 13 times in 20 appearances in 2016/17.

All three were then snapped up by Manchester City. Walsh now plays for Barcelona, while Stanway has since moved on to Bayern Munich and Toone to Manchester United.

The Lionesses will now face Spain on Sunday for a chance to lift the trophy. Weigman’s side are aiming to make it back-to-back successes after winning the European Championship last summer.

Rovers Women kick-off the new campaign against Birmingham City at Ewood Park on Saturday, August 26 (5.30pm). It is the first of at least four games guarantee to be played in BB2 over the coming season.

Simon Parker took charge of the side earlier this summer, succeeding long-serving manager Gemma Donnelly in the hot seat. The 37-year-old previously worked at Southampton and Lewes among others.

Matt Bee, who took interim charge for the final stages of last season, has now returned to his role as first-team coach.

Last month, the club announced they would be offering a 50 per cent discount on women’s season tickets for the upcoming campaign if the Lionesses lift the trophy. However, this only applies to orders placed prior to the quarter-final stage.

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