Having competed in three of the last four Olympic Games, Australia could be ready for their next step up the international pecking order in what is their sixth appearance at the World Championship. The Volleyroos first qualified in 1982, finishing 22nd, and then 16 years later in 1998 (17th). They have appeared in every edition since, finishing 19th twice (2002, 2010) and 21st in 2006. Perhaps the principle target for Jon Uriarte’s side at Poland 2014 is to win a match, as the Australians have yet to defeat any team at this level.
Australian men’s volleyball is still relatively young – its national team have been supported by the Australian Institute of Sport since 1990 – but they won gold at the 2007 Asian Championship in Jakarta, where they pipped Japan to top spot.
Their best performances in the past two years have come at the London 2012 Olympic Games, where the team finished ninth, and in the Asian Championship (fifth). The team’s Olympic debut came on home soil in Sydney where the squad finished in eighth place, scoring an upset victory over much-fancied Spain in the process. Most recently at the 2014 World League, they surpassed expectations by beating France in the Group 2 final to qualify for the Group 1 Finals, where they lost to Italy and USA.