Great Britain received a cordial invitation in 1906 from the Rifle Association of Australia, to send a Team in 1907 to compete in an “Imperial Match”.
On learning of the intended tour, the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association gave a very pressing invitation to arrange for the team to visit Canada en route, and take part in the match for the Palma Trophy in Ottawa.
The seventeen men of the Great Britain Rifle Team to Canada and Australia, 1907, were led by Major P.W. Richardson and sailed from Liverpool on 9th August.
Having shot in the Palma match, they sailed onto Sydney, Australia and shot for three days in Queensland. The first Imperial Match was shot over the two following days later, it was renamed the Empire Match. In 1988 it was once again renamed to the Australia Match.
A splendid silver trophy was presented for the competition. Mounted on black marble, it weighs over 100kg. (Perhaps one of the reasons it does not leave Australia when other nations win the competition).
From 2010 the match has been shot on ICFRA targets. The Great Britain team won the match that year, scoring 1972 with 207 v-bulls (out of a possible 2000 with 400 v-bulls), thereby setting a new record score. Tom Rylands (Great Britain, 2010) and Bryan Litz (USA, 2011) hold the highest individual score of 200 with 26 v-bulls. The previous team record was held by Australia, scoring 1977 with 217 v-bulls at Brisbane in 2005.
The Australia Match is shot for by a team of 10 shooters, 2 target coaches, a main coach, Captain and Adjutant. 2 reserves may also be selected. Each shooter fires 2 sighters and 10 shots to count at 300, 600, 900 and 1000 yards.
Great Britain – 24 wins
Australia – 18 wins
New Zealand – 6 wins
Canada – 4 wins