Storm Roux looking to claim starting spot for Confederations Cup

Roux at All Whites training in Auckland (Photosport)
Roux at All Whites training in Auckland (Photosport)

Returning All Whites wingback Storm Roux will look to stake his claim for a Confederations Cup starting berth when his side takes on Northern Ireland and Belarus in pre-tournament friendlies.

The 24-year-old was named in coach Anthony Hudson's squad for the first time in two years last week after returning from a broken leg suffered in 2016.

Freshly re-signed to the Central Coast Mariners, Roux will tussle with teen Dane Ingham for a spot on the right side of Hudson's preferred 3-5-2 formation.

Roux will have the two matches against Northern Ireland on Sunday (NZT) and Belarus on Tuesday to ensure he makes the starting XI and says he can't wait to show what he is made of in Belfast and Minsk.

"Me and the gaffer have been in contact a lot of the time I've been out of the squad, and it's great to be back," Roux said.

"I've been out of the team for so long (that) coming in and gelling with the boys again, and getting back into the style of play, is a big thing for me.

"Just coming up against quality opponents and different opponents, really testing yourself - international football is a whole different game."

Northern Ireland have named a strong squad, including West Bromwich Albion duo Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley, Southampton-based midfielder Steven Davis and striker Kyle Lafferty.

Conor Washington, however, has been omitted due to his impending marriage.

Roux said he expected a tough match as the Northern Irish gear up for next week's 2018 World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan in Baku.

"They're a very physical side and they rely a lot on set pieces and dominating in the box, (and) it's going to be a very hostile crowd," he said.

NZN