Delighted dad Neill on a high

Lucas Neill could feature for Australia in their final two 2010 World Cup qualifiers later this month after becoming the proud father of twins.

The West Ham United captain, who is also skipper of the national side, had remained in England to be with his partner - ruling him out of last Sunday's 1-0 win against Iraq in Brisbane and the return match against the same opposition to be played in Dubai this Saturday. Austraila then conclude their Group 1 campaign in the first stage of Asian zone qualifying with a 14 June game in Qatar before taking on China seven days later in Sydney.

Speaking earlier this week, Australia coach Pim Verbeek said: "Lucas will be with us from Sunday - we're planning to let him come then. They expect the babies to come this week, but we don't want to put pressure on him and his wife. If he arrives on 8 June, he will have a week to prepare for the Qatar game and then the China game." The Socceroos are three points clear at the top of the four-nation section with the top two advancing to the final stage of qualifying later this year for the finals in South Africa.