New Zealand and Australia to resume rivalry

WELLINGTON - New Zealand and Australia will resume their trans-Tasman rivalry when the two sides meet in an international football friendly in June, New Zealand Football (NZF) said on Wednesday.

The two sides last met in a friendly before both went to the 2010 World Cup finals, with the Socceroos winning the match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground 2-1. Prior to the match last May, however, they had not met since 2005.

"Whatever game you play and no matter how global it is; New Zealanders love to see their team upset the Aussies," All Whites coach Ricki Herbert said in a NZF statement.

"It's a rivalry every Kiwi can plug into, and it's great to see it being played more regularly."

The All Whites will have to travel back from Denver in the United States, where they are playing Mexico on June 1, for their match against the Socceroos on June 5 in Adelaide.

"Opportunities for high quality internationals can be limited and it's vitally important to get international exposure for all of our players, but especially the new blood, and against tough teams," Herbert said.

"Any time together as a group is also crucial.

"Yes, its a demanding turnaround but New Zealand Football have done what they can to minimise the stress of travel, and the group of players we have has shown themselves to be both resilient and passionate about representing New Zealand."