1 Jun 2011

Boxall and Fitzgerald get first All Whites start

2:48 pm on 1 June 2011

In naming first time starters Michael Boxall and Michael Fitzgerald in the All Whites lineup for the football international against Mexico in Denver, coach Ricki Herbert concedes it was one of the more difficult sides he's had to name.

The pair made their debuts off the bench against China in March and now get their first run-on appearances, on the flanks of a four-strong midfield.

Striker Kosta Barbarouses will start in a front three combination featuring Shane Smeltz and Chris Wood.

Midfielder Tim Brown is set to captain the side with Glenn Moss in goal.

Herbert says with injury ruling out the likes of Ryan Nelsen and Rory Fallon, selecting a lineup to play Mexico - who're ranked 28th in the world compared to New Zealand who're 60th - was always going to pose a few problems.

However he says the trip is also about developing players in the buildup to the 2014 World Cup.

There is some experience on the bench however with Chris Killen, Michael McGlinchey and Jeremy Brockie among the substitutes.

The match kicks off at two o'clock on Thursday afternoon.