AUSTRALIA made history with their first tour of Great Britain in 1908.

They played Warrington twice, losing 10-3 in November and drawing 8-8 in February, 1909.

Australia met the Northern Union in the first Test at Park Royal, London, on December 12 and the game was drawn 22-22.

The second Test was played, ironically, in the soccer stronghold of St. James' Park, Newcastle, and, in front of 22,000 fans, the British Northern Union side won comfortably.

The third Test at Villa Park, Birmingham, proved an anti-climax with the Northern Union side winning 6-5.

After the six-month tour ended two of the Australians, L. O'Malley and D. Frawley, stayed behind and signed for Warrington. It was the start of a long tradition for Warrington and Australian players.

It was in this year that Warrington recorded their highest league win in the club's entire history. On April 12 they entertained St Helens and destroyed them 78-6. Prop forward George Thomas crashed over for five tries and landed nine goals too for a points total of 33, the highest individual haul for a Warrington player until Lee Briers came on to the scene with 40 points in a year 2000 Challenge Cup match.

Although that first tour by the Australians was a failure financially, they proved their commitment to the game by inviting the Northern Union to send a touring team to Australia. The invitation was readily accepted.

It became a journey to Australia and New Zealand and the first party of seaborn tourists arrived in Oz at the end of May 1910, and the late arrivals on June 2. Among them was Frank Shugars, Warrington's first tourist. He played in one Test against New Zealand.

The eagerly awaited first Test on Australian soil was in Sydney when a huge crowd of more than 50,000 saw the Northern Union clinch a 27-20 win.

The tourists beat Newcastle and Queensland and, with receipts totalling more than £6,000, the tour was financially safe.

The second Test was played at Brisbane which the Northern Union again won, this time 22-17 and, as the Test series was decided, it was agreed that the third international should be against a combined Australian and New Zealand side. This was played at Sydney before yet another 50,000 crowd and the result was a draw.

From Australia the tourists went on to New Zealand where they ran up big scores against the Maoris, Auckland, Rotorua and New Zealand 52-20 and the receipts of £520 brought tour proceeds to £11,000 from which the Union received £6,500 - a magnificent bumper return.

Back on home soil, the 1910/11 season's benefit for flying winger Jack Fish brought in a little more than £268. Fittingly he bode farewell to Warrington fans with a try-scoring last performance against Coventry in the first round of the 1911 Challenge Cup competition.

But as Warrington said goodbye to one hero, another arrived Jimmy Tranter!

Demands of the game continued to grow and Warrington had to adapt. The first section of the new north stand was opened (where the Brian Bevan Memorial Stand is located), seating 900 and costing £1,500 to build.