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NZ's World Cup home qualifiers confirmed

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/09/2016

The All Whites' path to next year's World Cup in Russia has been finalised, with third round Oceania qualifying home fixtures scheduled for Auckland and Wellington.

Anthony Hudson's team will play New Caledonia at QBE Stadium in Auckland on November 12, then meet Fiji in Wellington on March 28 next year.

If New Zealand qualify for the Oceania playoff against the winner of Group B - Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands or Tahiti - their home match will be played in next year's August/September window at QBE Stadium.

Should they win that and qualifying for the intercontinental playoff against the fifth-ranked South American side, the home leg will be in Wellington in November 2017.

All Whites striker Rory Fallon says the All Whites harbour fond memories of Wellington's Westpac Stadium, where they edged Bahrain 1-0 to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Fallon, who scored the crucial goal in 2009 is looking forward to returning.

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

However, New Zealand's more recent result at Westpac Stadium somewhat destroys the feel-good factor.

They lost 4-2 to Mexico there in November 2013, after earlier being thumped 5-1 in the first leg of their intercontinental playoff in Mexico City.

The All Whites are currently preparing for a tour of the United States where they will face Mexico on October 8 in Nashville, Tennessee and the US three days later in Washington DC.

They are also scheduled to contest the Confederations Cup in Russia in July.

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