Italy's French coach Pierre Berbizier is hoping to bow out on a high note with a competitive display in the forthcoming tournament in his homeland.

Former France star Berbizier has told the Italian federation he wishes to return home for personal reasons after the finals, which get under way for the Azzurri against favourites New Zealand in Marseille on September 8.

The players are understandably disappointed by Berbizier's decision to quit, but Italy captain Marco Bortolami said: I respect his decision to return home. Now we want him to go out on a high at the World Cup.'