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Rory Fallon on Kiwi education mission

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/06/2016

Rory Fallon is on a mission to educate his overseas-based All Whites team-mates about the New Zealand way.

In the lead-up to their third group game at the Nations Cup, players from the unbeaten New Zealand side visited the Bomana War Cemetery in Port Moresby, the final resting place for 3000 allied soldiers killed during World War II, including a small number of Kiwis.

Veteran striker Fallon said the visit was a way of fostering culture in a team drawn from all parts of the globe.

He said some younger and foreign-born members of the squad may not be aware of aspects of New Zealand history.

"There are lads that have New Zealand blood running in them but the family has moved away," he said.

"It's important for someone like (defender) Themi Tzimopoulos, who is from Greece but has a New Zealand mum, to see us doing the haka before games in the changing room and be aware of past people who've given their lives for the country. It gives you that real bond with New Zealand."

Fallon is set to captain the All Whites against the Solomon Islands on Saturday, with skipper Chris Wood sidelined by a dislocated shoulder suffered early in the 5-0 rout of Vanuatu on Tuesday.

Coach Anthony Hudson may consider making changes to give as many players as possible a run ahead of the knockout phase.

New Zealand, who beat Fiji 3-1 in their opening game, are all-but guaranteed a place in the semi-finals.

The winners of the tournament qualify for next year's Confederations Cup tournament in Russia.

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