9 Mar 2011

Six new caps in All Whites squad

11:57 am on 9 March 2011

There are six new caps in the All Whites extended squad of 30 named by coach Ricki Herbert for a 2-match tour of China and Japan later this month.

The Phoenix star Marco Rojas gets his first call up, along with Major League Soccer recruits, the keeper Jake Gleeson and defender Michael Boxall.

Gleeson is almost certain to make the final 22 named on Tuesday given the injury that currently sidelines Mark Paston.

The other newcomers are Birmingham City's defender Luke Rowe and fullback Michael Fitzgerald, who plays in Japan.

Craig Henderson gets a second chance to start his All Whites career after a serious knee injury put a swift end to the Sweden-based midfielder's first call up last March.

The All Whites take on newly crowned Asian Champions Japan in Tokyo on March 29th four days after playing China in a game which has been moved from Nanning to Wuhan.

Meanwhile, Kosta Barbarouses - who narrowly missed the final squad for South Africa - is back in the mix after a stellar season leading the Brisbane Roar attack with 11 A-League goals while Kris Bright, who recently signed with Budapest Honved, is the only other player included that didn't travel to the 2010 World Cup.