The All Whites have sent fullback Dane Ingham home from their Auckland camp after the four-cap teenager arrived out of shape.
Barely three days from the side's 2018 World Cup qualifier against the Solomon Islands, coach Anthony Hudson decided to send the 18-year-old Ingham home, saying he hadn't met the All Whites' fitness standards.
Born in Australia, Ingham and older brother Jai defected to the All Whites earlier this year on account of their Kiwi-born mother.
Yet while Jai has fallen to the fringe of Hudson's plans, Dane has enjoyed a solid run in the Kiwi squad and played two games at this year's Confederations Cup.
However, Hudson felt Ingham had failed to stay in shape during the long A-League off-season, where he plays with Brisbane Roar.
"He was unfit, his body fat was high - we've given him a couple of fitness tests and he's not where he needs to be," Hudson told reporters on Tuesday.
He added that midfielders Clayton Lewis and Bill Tuiloma had both been left out of this week's World Cup qualifier squad for the same reason.
Ingham's departure makes him the fifth Kiwi player to miss Friday's match in Albany, along with Winston Reid, Tommy Smith, Shane Smeltz and Marco Rojas.
A second leg will follow in Honiara four days later.
Hudson said the fullback still had a long future in the white jumper.
Dane Ingham during the an All Whites match against Portugal in Group A of the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.
"Young kids make mistakes," Hudson said.
"Especially when he's only just become a professional player."
The decision to dump Ingham for Friday's match follows Hudson's admission that the All Whites weren't fit enough at this year's Confederations Cup, where they lost all three matches to Russia, Mexico and Portugal.
It was something the side would work on ahead of November's intercontinental World Cup playoff, should they qualify, against South America's fifth-placed side.
"It's something we can always improve on if we're coming up against those big nations in a big tournament," veteran goalkeeper Glen Moss said.
"We want to be fitter than them, we want to be sharper, and to really let them know they're in for a game."
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