15 Nov 2014

Wood to lead All Whites

5:16 am on 15 November 2014

Leicester City striker Chris Wood has become one of the youngest players to captain the All Whites, being named to lead the side in Saturday's international against China.

Wood, who's 22, will also lead the side against Thailand next week in the absence of the injured Winston Reid.

Chris Wood will captain the All Whites against China and Thailand.

Chris Wood will captain the All Whites against China and Thailand. Photo: Photosport

The All Whites coach Andrew Hudson says "since Chris joined us in Doha he has worked hard, he cares about the national team and he is a top professional."

Hudson says Wood will be a pivotal figure as they look to build their approach towards the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

"Chris is going to be a very big player domestically and as a result he will be a huge part of the growth of football in New Zealand."

Wood has already earned 35 caps for the All Whites, scoring 12 goals in the process.

He got his chance in England with West Bromwich Albion in 2009 and in the ensuing five years was loaned to a number of other clubs before earning a transfer to Leicester City, where he scored twice on debut.

Wood played a part in Leicester's promotion to the Premier League, and scored the equaliser as a substitute in their 2-2 draw against Everton in their first match back in the EPL at home.

Wood was the youngest member of the All Whites squad at the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.