4 Apr 2009

All Whites coach rapt to play Italy

7:03 am on 4 April 2009

The New Zealand football coach Ricki Herbert is elated his side has managed to secure a much-coveted warm-up match against the World Cup holders before the Confederations Cup tournament in South Africa in June.

The All Whites will play three matches before the eight-team tournament, against Tanzania, Botswana and then the world number four-ranked Italians, the world champions.

Herbert says it's not often New Zealand gets the chance to face teams of Italy's quality and having the game just four days before playing the European Champions Spain is perfect preparation.