Ryan Nelsen has been reinstated as All Whites captain on his return to the full New Zealand senior football side, and coach Ricki Herbert says it's a permanent re-appointment.
Nelsen's only outings for New Zealand in four years were 2 games as skipper of the Olympic side last month.
Nelsen, who also captains Blackburn in the English Premier League, says taking back the armband could have been awkward.
But he says Brown and Herbert insisted it's not a problem .
Nelsen says it's fantastic being back in the team and leading it is a great honour.
A win for the All Whites in Noumea or Auckland will guarantee the Oceania title and a place in the next phase -- home and away matches with the fifth-placed Asian country for a place in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.