English Premier League stars Chris Wood and Winston Reid have been passed first to join New Zealand for the World Cup qualifying playoff against Peru next weekend.
Burnley striker Wood and West Ham defender Reid recently missed league matches Wood with a hamstring strain and Reid a calf muscle injury but both took a full part in their teams’ most recent games. Reid played all 90 minutes in its 4-1 loss to Liverpool and Wood played 65 minutes in Burnley’s 1-0 win over Southampton.
Ipswich defender Tommy Smith, Canada-based Deklan Wynne and A-League players Andrew Durante and Storm Roux have also been cleared of injuries, allowing New Zealand’s England-born coach Anthony Hudson the rare luxury of being able to name a full-strength squad.
Hudson has recalled strikers Jeremy Brockie and Rory Fallon, who have been absent from the All Whites lineup for more than a year. Fallon scored the winning goal in New Zealand’s final qualifier against Bahrain in 2010, sending it to that year’s World Cup in South Africa. He is playing for Dorchester Town in the Southern League Premier Division, the seventh tier of England football.
Brockie has only one goal in an international career which began 11 years ago. The first-leg match next Saturday will be his 50th for New Zealand.
New Zealand is the Oceania champion, earning the right to face Peru which finished fifth in South American qualifying over two legs, the winner of which will play at the World Cup in Russia. The second leg will be in the Peru capital Lima on Nov. 15.
Hudson has called up uncapped goalkeeper Max Crocombe from Salford City and recalled Clayton Lewis, who recently signed with Scunthorpe United. He said the focus of his selection was on quality and experience.
“The goal for our squad is simple,” Hudson said. “We need to deliver the best performance of our campaign and if we do that then we have a good chance of qualifying for the World Cup.
“We have decided to bring back Rory (Fallon) and Jeremy (Brockie) for the quality they bring to the team but also what they offer the team off the field. We know that experience is going to be a huge factor in this tie and the guys who have been there before can add a huge amount to this group and our chances of success.”
Goalkeepers: Max Crocombe, Stefan Marinovic, Glen Moss
Defenders: Michael Boxall, Kip Colvey, Andrew Durante, Dane Ingham, Winston Reid, Storm Roux, Tommy Smith, Themi Tzimopoulos, Deklan Wynne
Midfielders: Clayton Lewis, Michael McGlinchey, Marco Rojas, Ryan Thomas, Bill Tuiloma
Forwards: Kosta Barbarouses, Jeremy Brockie, Rory Fallon, Monty Patterson, Shane Smeltz, Chris Wood