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The Dunedin product was one of seven uncapped players included in new All Whites head coach Danny Hay's first squad, announced yesterday.
He is joined by fellow newcomers Nando Pijnaker, Joe Bell, Elliot Collier, Elijah Just, Max Mata and Callum McCowatt.
The side will play Ireland and Lithuania on November 14 and 17 respectively.
It is another jump for the 21-year-old, whose father Mike McGarry played 87 matches for the All Whites.
James left Dunedin aged 12 to attend an academy in Christchurch, before progressing to the Wellington Phoenix.
He now plays for Dutch top league side Willem II.
He has also played for New Zealand age-grade sides, most recently the under-23 team this year.
Around them is an experienced core, including the trio of Winston Reid, Chris Wood and Ryan Thomas - all included for the first time since the end of 2017.
It also includes a host of players from the successful under-20 World Cup side, notably Bayern Munich's Sarpreet Singh and Liberato Cacace.
Hay said it had been a tough team to select.
"It's exciting in that I had to make some really tough decisions and leave out players that are operating at a high level, which is a good sign for the future.
"I think we're developing a different type of player now - one who is more technical and tactically aware - so that in itself is exciting and I think the squad is reflective of that."
While there is a big emphasis on youth, he said it was important to the buy-in of the senior players.
"One of the most important things is getting those senior players on board and making sure they're really clear with the direction we're heading and are 100% invested in it.
"They're going to be vital for setting the tone and influencing how the younger players come into the environment and what that environment actually looks like going forward."
All Whites squad
Goalkeepers: Stefan Marinovic, Michael Woud.
Defenders: Michael Boxall, Liberato Cacace, Louis Fenton, James McGarry, Nando Pijnaker, Winston Reid, Storm Roux, Tommy Smith, Bill Tuiloma.
Midfielders: Joe Bell, Michael McGlinchey, Matt Ridenton, Alex Rufer, Sarpreet Singh, Ryan Thomas.
Forwards: Elliot Collier, Andre de Jong, Elijah Just, Max Mata, Callum McCowatt, Marco Rojas, Chris Wood.