He claims that experience helped him develop long before he earned a move to the Premier League with Albion in the summer of 2011 - not least when he was frequently drafted in to play as a full-back.
"It's definitely helped," said McAuley to the Birmingham Mail. "In international football I'd played out of position at right-back a lot of the time and came up against a lot of people who I was able to handle. I came up against Ronaldo, Bastian Schweinsteiger, when he played on the wing, he was good.
"All the countries have someone on the wing who is a dribbler and creator.
"I came up against a few daunting ones in my time.
"That gives you great confidence. It would have been a great experience (to play tonight) but you can't have everything all the time."