Coach: Ricki Herbert
Player to Watch: Chris Wood
World Ranking: 78
World Cup Record: One previous appearance – 1982
Group F Schedule:
15 June – New Zealand v Slovakia
19 June – Italy v New Zealand
24 June – Paraguay v New Zealand
Herbert embarked on a four-year strategy to build a strong core of a squad to qualify for the tournament. He took advantage of the relaxation of FIFA regulations on players who had appeared at youth level for one country being able to switch nationality to scour the globe for anyone with New Zealand connections.
Rory Fallon (England), Tommy Smith (England) and Michael McGlinchey (Scotland) have played for the All Whites after previously playing age-grade internationals. Winston Reid was added on 10 May having played for Denmark at youth level.
Teenage striker Chris Wood is tipped to make a name for himself in South Africa. Tall, strongly built and pacy with a light and sure touch he has been used mostly off the bench but could force his way into the starting side.
Goalkeepers: James Bannatyne (Team Wellington), Glen Moss (Melbourne Victory), Mark Paston (Wellington Phoenix)
Defenders: Andy Boyens (New York Red Bulls), Tony Lochhead (Wellington Phoenix), David Mulligan (unattached), Ryan Nelsen (Blackburn Rovers, captain), Winston Reid (FC Midtjylland), Ben Sigmund (Wellington Phoenix), Tommy Smith (Ipswich), Ivan Vicelich (Auckland City)
Midfielders: Andy Barron (Team Wellington), Leo Bertos (Wellington Phoenix), Jeremy Brockie (Newcastle Jets), Tim Brown (Wellington Phoenix, vice-captain), Aaron Clapham (Canterbury United), Jeremy Christie (FC Tampa Bay), Simon Elliott (unattached), Michael McGlinchey (Motherwell)
Strikers: Rory Fallon (Plymouth Argyle), Chris Killen (Middlesbrough), Shane Smeltz (Gold Coast United), Chris Wood (West Bromwich Albion).