Tommy Smith is an All White once more after being named in the squad to play two World Cup qualifiers against Fiji this month.

Smith's recall comes after he was left out of the New Zealand squad that won last year's Oceania Nations Cup, with coach Anthony Hudson critical at the time of the defender's lack of commitment.

The 26-year-old has only recently returned to action for Ipswich Town after almost six months out with a career-threatening back injury that required surgery. He has not played for New Zealand since a 2-0 friendly loss to Thailand in November, 2014.

The return of Smith, Winston Reid and Shane Smeltz, and the introduction of Australian-based brothers Jai and Dane Ingham are among the notable features of the squad which Hudson said was the strongest he had selected since being appointed national coach in 2014.


This is the first time 2010 World Cup players Reid, Smith and Smeltz, and the next generation of All Whites such as Ryan Thomas, Marco Rojas and Deklan Wynne have been named in the same squad, although there is no room for Kosta Barbarouses.

The All Whites assemble in Wellington for a training camp on March 19 before travelling to Fiji for a match in Lautoka on March 25 and then returning to host Fiji at Westpac Stadium on March 28. The team's ultimate goal is qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

"It is the best squad we have had since I have been here," said Hudson. "We have got quality all around the pitch, we have depth and competition for places, and the best thing about this squad is we have a good blend of experience and youth. There is energy, quality and hunger in this squad so I'm very pleased."

Winger Jai Ingham (Melbourne Victory FC) and defender Dane Ingham (Brisbane Roar FC) are the first brothers to be named in an All Whites squad since Neil and Kenny Harlock in 1997. Australian-born Jai (23) and Dane (17) qualify for New Zealand through their New Zealand-born mother. Hudson said they have been watching them for some time.

"Jai has been progressing with his club and his performances have been very good. He is getting more time on the pitch and his performances have been very strong. He is a dynamic player, a very attacking player, and is someone who suits how we want to play.

"Recently when Dane made his debut for the Roar, 20-30 minutes into the game and I was sold. I'd seen enough. He is a really good player.

"I have said all along that I wouldn't be adding unless they add to the squad and these two players do that. I have seen enough to know that they can come in and improve what we are doing."

At the other end of the age and experience scale, Hudson welcomed back 35-year-old Smeltz. The veteran of 51 internationals for New Zealand with 24 goals makes his second squad under Hudson.

"Shane came with us to Myanmar and what I saw there was a guy who is a top pro and was great around the camp. I really enjoyed working with him and his performances of late have been great. You would not think that he is the age that he is judging by the way he's playing."

Also in good form is Chris Wood. Hudson is looking forward to seeing the striker continue the goal-scoring run he's on for Leeds United in the Championship for the All Whites. The 25-year-old has 25 goals this season in all competitions, including 22 in the league.

"I am so pleased for Woodsy. It's not by chance, it comes down to his mentality and how hard he works. He is such an asset to the national team. I think Woodsy, among a few others in this squad, can be superstars on the international stage this year because they now have earned the platform to do that."

All Whites squad to play Fiji


Stefan Marinovic (SpVgg Unterhaching), Tamati Williams (RKC Waalwijk), Glen Moss (Wellington Phoenix).

Defenders: Andrew Durante (Wellington Phoenix), Thomas Doyle (Wellington Phoenix), Michael Boxall (SuperSport United), Kip Colvey (San Jose Earthquakes), Themi Tzimopoulos (PAS Giannina), Deklan Wynne (Vancouver Whitecaps), Winston Reid (West Ham, captain), Sam Brotherton (Sunderland), Tommy Smith (Ipswich), Dane Ingham (Brisbane Roar).

Midfielders: Bill Tuiloma (Marseille), Clayton Lewis (Auckland City), Michael McGlinchey (Wellington Phoenix), Moses Dyer (Eastern Suburbs), Ryan Thomas (PEC Zwolle).

Forwards: Chris Wood (Leeds), Monty Patterson (Ipswich), Marco Rojas (Melbourne Victory), Shane Smeltz (Wellington Phoenix), Jai Ingham (Melbourne Victory).