‘Let’s turn these games into annual fixtures’ — skipper Chris Wood

posted in: All Whites, News

All Whites captain Chris Wood hopes the Soccer Ashes match with Australia will open the way for annual fixtures between the two countries.

As his side prepared for their London match on Wednesday morning (NZT), Wood said he was “a big advocate” for playing Australia every year.

“Having that challenge and that rivalry … bringing that back is going to be huge for both our nations going forward,” he said through NZ Football’s social media channels.

As for playing for the historic Soccer Ashes Trophy, Wood said: “It’s big. There’s not many games where we get to play for something that actually really means stuff.

“It’s only right that we start it off with something like this, and with something to play for. ”

The All Whites at training as they prepare for the game against Australia. Photo credit: NZ Football.

New Zealand and Australia met twice in 2022, brought together as international games resumed after COVID disruption, and with both nations wanting to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the first international match.

Previously, the sides had not met for more than a decade.

Meanwhile, Australian coach Graham Arnold will use the match to help determine his squad for the start of his side’s 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup qualifying campaign next month.

READ MORE: Socceroos boss Graham Arnold: ‘We’ll be in their faces for 90 minutes >>>>

The Socceroos will face either the Maldives or Bangladesh on November 16 in Melbourne, and the game against the All Whites gives him the chance to check out some younger players, in particular.

“I’m getting headaches now in selecting the team, where probably for three or four years I didn’t have that,” he said.

If the match is drawn after 90 minutes, there will be no extra time and a penalty shootout will decide which team wins the Soccer Ashes Trophy.

READ MORE: Penalties could be used to decide match between All Whites and Socceroos >>>>

About the Soccer Ashes

The trophy was created in 1923, containing ashes of cigars smoked by Australian captain Alex Gibb and New Zealand captain George Campbell following the first meeting between the two nations in Australia in June 1923.

The trophy went missing in 1954 but was rediscovered during the COVID pandemic and returned to Football Australia.

READ MORE: Long-lost ANZAC Soccer Ashes trophy found in family garage clean-out >>>> 

How they rank

Going into the game, New Zealand rate 104th in the FIFA men’s world rankings.

Australia rank 27th.

Past meetings

Of the 64 encounters between the trans-Tasman rivals, Australia have won 40 games and New Zealand have won 13. Eleven games have been drawn.

How to watch

The match will be live-streamed free by FIFA+ with coverage starting at 7.35am (NZT).


New Zealand

Max Crocombe (2 caps) Burton Albion FC, England
Michael Woud (4 caps) Ventforet Kofu, Japan
Nik Tzanev (2 caps) AFC Wimbledon, England
Henry Gray* (0 caps), Ipswich Town, England

Bill Tuiloma (38 caps) Charlotte FC, United States
Dalton Wilkins (3 caps) Kolding, Denmark
Liberato Cacace (16 caps) Empoli FC, Italy
Michael Boxall (44 caps) Minnesota United, United States
Nando Pijnaker (13 caps) Sligo Rovers, Ireland
Niko Kirwan (9 caps) Calcio Padova, Italy
Tommy Smith (50 caps) MK Dons, England
Tyler Bindon (1 caps) Reading FC, England

Callum McCowatt (13 caps) Silkeborg IF, Denmark
Marko Stamenic (15 caps) FK Crvena zvezda / Red Star Belgrade, Serbia
Matthew Garbett (16 caps) NAC Breda, Netherlands
Sarpreet Singh (10 caps) FC Hansa Rostock, Germany

Alex Greive (10 caps) St Mirren FC, Scotland
Ben Waine (9 caps) Plymouth Argyle, England
Chris Wood (71 caps) Nottingham Forest, England
Eli Just (16 caps) AC Horsens, Denmark
Joe Champness (7 caps) Adanaspor, Turkey
Max Mata (5 caps) Shrewsbury Town, England

*Debut senior international call-up


Mat Ryan (captain) (83 caps) AZ Alkmaar, Netherland
Tom Glover* (0 caps) Middlesbrough FC, England
Andrew Redmayne (4 caps) Sydney FC, Australia

Aziz Behich (60 caps) Melbourne City FC, Australia
Jordy Bos (3 caps) K.V.C Westerlo, Belgium
Cameron Burgess (2 caps) Ipswich Town FC, England
Alessandro Circati* (0 caps) Parma Calcio 1913, Italy
Milos Degenek (45 caps) FK Crvena zvezda, Serbia
Lewis Miller (1 cap) Hibernian FC, Scotland
Kye Rowles (12 caps) Heart of Midlothian FC, Scotland
Harry Souttar (18 caps) Leicester City FC, England
Ryan Strain (3 caps) St Mirren FC, Scotland

Keanu Baccus (9 caps) St Mirren FC, Scotland
Jackson Irvine (57 caps) FC St Pauli, Germany
Massimo Luongo (43 caps) Ipswich Town FC, England
Connor Metcalfe (10 caps) FC St. Pauli, Germany

Brandon Borrello (8 caps) Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia
Martin Boyle (21 caps) Hibernian FC, Scotland
Mitch Duke (28 caps) FC Machida Zelvia, Japan
Craig Goodwin (165 caps) Al Wehda FC, Saudi Arabia
Awer Mabil (33 caps) Grasshopper Club Zürich, Switzerland
Sam Silvera (1 cap) Middlesbrough FC, England
Mohamed Toure (1 cap), Paris FC, France

*Debut senior international call-up


Game to be played on Wednesday October 18, 2023 (NZT)

New Zealand v Australia
Gtech Community Stadium, London, 7.45am (NZT)

READ MORE: Tickets go on public sale for All Whites match against Socceroos in London >>>>

READ MORE: Brentford’s stadium to host October’s historic Soccer Ashes match >>>>

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