25 Mar 2013

All Whites ring the changes for Honiara dead rubber

11:00 am on 25 March 2013

New Zealand football coach Ricki Herbert has made sweeping changes to the squad who will travel to Honiara for the final World Cup qualifier with the Solomon Islands.

Tuesday's game is now a dead rubber after the All Whites' scrappy last-minute 2-1 win over New Caledonia in Dunedin on Friday night clinched Oceania's spot in the intercontinental playoff with the fourth-placed CONCACAF side in November.

Herbert's released eight players back to their clubs, including new All Whites captain Winston Reid and matchwinner Tommy Smith as well as Chris Killen, Michael McGlinchey, Marco Rojas, Shane Smeltz, Ivan Vicelich and Chris Wood.

Aaron Clapham, Cameron Lindsay, Luke Rowe and Aaron Scott come into the side.

Herbert is only travelling with the bare minimum squad of 14 players, and as he has 11 on yellow cards who could individually be suspended for the first playoff leg with another booking in Honiara, the coach admits that's a consideration in releasing his stars.

Those walking the suspension tightrope are Reid, Tony Lochhead, Smith, Leo Bertos, McGlinchey, Smeltz, Killen, Ian Hogg, Vicelich, Jeremy Brockie and Wood.

Phoenix captain and new citizen Andrew Durante was not included in the match day squad in Dunedin but is likely to see some time on the pitch, while Ben Sigmund returns from suspension.

The All Whites travel to Brisbane Sunday afternoon before continuing to Honiara on Monday.

New Zealand squad: Mark Paston, Aaron Scott, Ben Sigmund, Leo Bertos, Luke Rowe, Jacob Spoonley, Dan Keat, Ian Hogg, Cameron Lindsay, Jeremy Brockie, Kosta Barbarouses, Tim Payne, Aaron Clapham, Andrew Durante