The Saints striker carved out a reputation as a top forward in the Football League, but few predicted that he would be able to force his way into the national side even after he fired his current club into the Premier League.
But after helping the Hampshire side to safety, which they have built on this term, the 32-year-old is now set for a trip to Brazil after winning Roy Hodgson’s trust.
Austin, eight years his junior, has also built up a reputation in English football’s lower divisions, achieving success with Swindon, Burnley and now QPR.
And after helping the Super Hoops into the big time via the play-offs over the weekend, he has set his sights on pulling on the white shirt at Wembley in the coming years:
“I look at Rickie and how he has played his way through the lower leagues up to the England squad and it gives me a lot of encouragement.” He told the London Evening Standard.
“He has done so well in the Premier League and been rewarded with a chance for England. He is now in the World Cup squad. I’m sure he wouldn’t have thought it was possible when he first got there but he showed what he can do and I am aiming to do the same.
“As a kid I dreamed of playing for my country like anybody else. Firstly I have to put in good performances in the Premier League and then who knows what will happen. I will be up against great defenders but I am worrying about myself, not anybody else.”