It's the Tok Rugby World Cup

Favourite sons: Tokoroa rugby greats.
Favourite sons: Tokoroa rugby greats.

While the whole of New Zealand sweats on the All Blacks' performance in the Rugby World Cup, Tokoroa can relax - it has five chances to win it.

Though the majority of people in the South Waikato town will be firmly behind Tokoroa-born All Blacks Richard Kahui and Keven Mealamu - who were named in the cup squad yesterday, there are four more of the town's favourite sons involved in the tournament.

Talented Aussie first-five Quade Cooper lived in Tokoroa from the age of one, before moving across the ditch with his family in his early teens.

Made in Tokoroa: Richard Kahui, seen here in training, and five of the South Waikato town's favourite sons are involved in the Rugby World Cup.
Made in Tokoroa: Richard Kahui, seen here in training, and five of the South Waikato town's favourite sons are involved in the Rugby World Cup.

Isaac Boss, now plying his trade in Ireland, will don the green jersey when the competition kicks off in September but many of those from his home town of 16,000 will better remember him as head boy at Forest View High School.

And that's not all  there's also Fijian squad member Nicky Little who grew up in Tok along with rugby league legend Henry Paul, who will be back in the country as Russia's skills coach.

There must be something in the water, or at least there was 20 odd years ago.

Forest View High School sports coordinator Denise Hein saw Boss, Kahui and Cooper go through the school in the timber town.

The first two she remembers as bright kids but described Cooper as "your typical crazy year 10".
Ms Hein admitted it was "pretty amazing" that such a small place could produce so many world-class athletes

nd she put it down to a community that supported each other and their children.
It's not just rugby internationals Tokoroa has produced either.

Netballer Maria Tutaia, basketballer Pero Cameron and Destiny Church leader "Bishop" Brian Tamaki were all born there.

Well, two out of three isn't bad.

Former chairman of Southern United Rugby Football Club David Foote said they were unlucky not to make it seven, with Canterbury player Sean Maitland waiting in the wings for his first cap.

If Quade Cooper slots over the winning penalty in the last minute of the Rugby World Cup final against the ABs, Tokoroa boy or not, staunch supporters Mr Foote and Ms Hein said there would definitely be no silver lining.

"We like to see the guys playing well, but not against the All Blacks," he said.

Waikato Times