Ryan Nelsen, who joined the R’s from Tottenham, will captain New Zealand at the London 2012 Olympic games

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QPR’s new signing Ryan Nelsen has been given the honour of captaining New Zealand at the London 2012 Olympics.

It is expected that the 34-year-old will partner Ipswich defender Tommy Smith, who captained the All Whites in the Oceania Nations Cup, in defence.

New Zealand Olympic Committee secretary general and selector Kereyn Smith said: “Football (in New Zealand) has gone from strength to strength.

“Participation numbers in the sport are high and we acknowledge the power of the players, in particular leaders like Ryan Nelsen, to keep this momentum alive.

“Ryan’s influence in particular will be massive for a group that includes players as young as 17. Then you throw in the likes of Smith and the team core has got a good solid look to it.”

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