Winston Reid to captain All Whites

All Whites coach Danny Hay has confirmed that Winston Reid will captain the side in their friendly against Ireland in Dublin tomorrow.

The West Ham defender is returning to competitive football after 18 months on the sideline through injury.

However his fellow English Premier League star Chris Wood is in doubt for the match after missing training today.

Hay says Wood had a slight leg niggle and that the striker would be given until game day to decide his availability.

"We just need to see how he pulls up, we won't take any unnecessary risks, we understand that this is a friendly, but Chris is desperate to play," Hay said

Reid, who hasn't been a part of the team for a couple of years, says he's enjoyed being back with the squad.

"We've trained well this week and we're looking forward to the game tomorrow."

I've been out for a while so it's about not taking unnecessary risks, but I'm healthy, otherwise I wouldn't be here," said Reid.

Hay says he had no hesitation in giving the armband back to Reid.

"He holds a huge amount of respect and mana amongst the group, I just look at the way the young players respond to his presence in the environment, it's massive, it's a big big plus."

Tomorrow's game will also be Hay's first game in charge of the All Whites, who haven't played since June last year.