BLACKBURN Rovers look set to spend part of the summer Down Under as they prepare to make their first ever pre-season trip to Australia.

While the details are still to be finalised, the club have been lined up to compete in a high-profile four- team tournament in Sydney towards the end of July – with Rovers’ Aussie duo expected to be two of the main attractions.

As well as Rovers and hosts Sydney FC, Argentine giants Boca Juniors and Scottish champions Rangers will complete the quartet for an event likely to attract worldwide attention.

As reported in the Lancashire Telegraph a fortnight ago, the tournament in Australia was one of a number of pre-season options for Allardyce’s men, including a potential return to the States, but it has now become the favourite destination.

Contracts are yet to be signed but, after Rangers pulled out of a proposed friendly against Celtic in Boston, all four clubs have agreed to their participation in principle and it is expected to be officially announced by the end of the week.

Rovers midfielders Brett Emerton, originally from Sydney, and Vince Grella should have reported back at the club after being given an extended break from their country’s World Cup campaign in South Africa and their presence will generate huge interest among the home supporters.

Among Boca Juniors ranks’ are former Villareal play maker Juan Riquelme, ex Liverpool defender Gabriel Paletta and veteran Argentine striker Martin Palermo, and Allardyce’s men should be given a welcome stern summer test.

Rovers are expected to report back for pre season on June 28 although their expected World Cup quartet, Grella, Emerton, Lars Jacobsen and Ryan Nelsen, will return later in the summer, with the usual pre-season finale at Ewood Park not expected to happen.

Chairman John Williams said: “I can confirm we are in talks to take part in the tournament in Sydney but contracts have not been signed.”

Sydney fc chief executive Edwin Lugt said: "We would have preferred to keep it secret until it was finally confirmed and the tournament organisers could say this great news was over the line, but yes, I can confirm that it's very close to being done.

“We're expecting to have everything sorted out by the end of the week - it's just a matter of a few details - and from what we understand, all four clubs have agreed to come here, which is fantastic news."