21 Mar 2011

Nelsen and Fallon out of All Whites

6:43 pm on 21 March 2011

Injury has forced both the All Whites captain Ryan Nelsen and striker Rory Fallon to withdraw from the New Zealand football side to play China, later this week in Wuhan.

The uncapped goalkeeper Jake Gleeson has also withdrawn.

The Blackburn Rovers defender Nelsen has a knee injury while Fallon, who plays for Plymouth Argyle, has a groin strain.

All Whites coach Ricki Herbert has allowed Gleeson to remain with his Major League Soccer side Portland Timbers after an injury to the side's first choice keeper.

Herbert admits the withdrawl of Nelsen and Fallon is disappointing as they bring plenty of confidence, leadership and experience.

Herbert's called in defender Michael Boxall, who recently signed with MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps, to replace Nelsen while Auckland City goalkeeper Jacob Spoonley replaces Gleeson.

The side leaves for China tomorrow and Herbert doesn't intend replacing Fallon with Kosta Barbarouses, Chris Wood, Shane Smeltz and Chris Killen all in the squad.