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Fulham striker Chris James has declared he wants to play for New Zealand.

The 18 year-old is an England youth international, having moved to London with his family at 13 from NZ. But he has informed FIFA that he wants to pledge his international future to the All Whites.

New Zealand Soccer chief executive Graham Seatter said things were looking hopeful.

“Chris has given an indication that he wants to play for New Zealand.

“We’re following that through and we’ll see how it unfolds. There’s a long way to go, though.

“The nice thing about the Brazil fixture (June 4 in Geneva) is we’ll be in Europe, it’s the end of his season, and it’s a great opportunity for him to come into the environment and realise we’re serious about what we’re doing. If we tried to convince him a year ago to come into this environment with nothing planned and only one game, he’d say, `Why would I?”‘

Seatter also told the Dominion Post “it might be presumptuous”, but, paperwork permitting, James could be available for the two Chile matches in late-April.