27 Sep 2016

All Whites to play World Cup qualifiers in Auckland, Wellington

8:28 am on 27 September 2016

Auckland and Wellington will host the All Whites Football World Cup qualifying matches over the next 14 months, as New Zealand attempts to reach the tournament for just the third time.

Rory Fallon celebrates after scoring for All Whites, OFC Nations Cup 2016.

Rory Fallon celebrates after scoring for All Whites, OFC Nations Cup 2016. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

New Zealand Football confirmed today the All Whites home fixtures as the team tries to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The All Whites will play the third round of their Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) World Cup qualifiers at QBE Stadium, Auckland in November and Westpac Stadium, Wellington in March next year.

The OFC Nations Cup champions will then compete with many of the world's best teams at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia in July 2017, before the All Whites hope to return in August/September for a final OFC playoff match, which is also set to be held at Auckland's QBE Stadium.

Should Anthony Hudson's side qualify for the Intercontinental Playoff against the fifth-ranked South American side next year, the home leg will be staged at Wellington's Westpac Stadium in November 2017.

New Zealand Football chief executive Andy Martin said he is pleased to have the home calendar locked in for what will be a very exciting time for the All Whites.

"This is great news and we are looking forward to seeing all of New Zealand get behind the All Whites as we look to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 2018," said Martin.

He said choosing the venues was a tough decision with considerable interest from stadiums around New Zealand to host the OFC round three qualifiers, and the potential Intercontinental playoff should the All Whites qualify.

He said he is confident All Whites fans will come out in huge numbers like they did when the team defeated Bahrain in 2009 to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

All Whites striker Rory Fallon, who scored the famous goal at Westpac Stadium in 2009 that sent New Zealand to the World Cup in 2010, said he could not wait to return to a happy hunting ground.

"It's a great place to be with a fantastic atmosphere," said Fallon.

"Wellington really gets behind their footy so I'm really happy to be playing there again."

The 34 year old has vivid memories of that magical night at Westpac Stadium in 2009 when he scored the decisive goal which sent New Zealand into raptures.

"It was surreal. It was one of those moments which you dream about when you're a kid and you keep pinching yourself that you're there," he said.

"For me this will be my last shot at a World Cup before I hang up my boots so it will be a very big moment walking out onto that pitch again."

The All Whites travel to the United States next month for friendlies against Mexico and USA.

All Whites Home Fixtures in 2016/17:

12 November v New Caledonia 3pm - QBE Stadium, Auckland

28 March v Fiji - Westpac Stadium, Wellington

August/September window - OFC playoff (if the All Whites qualify) at QBE Stadium, Auckland

November 2017 Intercontinental Playoff (if the All Whites qualify) at Westpac Stadium, Wellington