All Blacks milk good luck charm
MEET Richie 'McCow' - okay, he's actually a bull, but his owners think the calf has been marked as an omen from the sporting gods.
The calf, born in Northland yesterday, is all black except for a white mark on its forehead - which looks remarkably like a silver fern.
"Straight away I was like, he's definitely been born for the World Cup this year," said Kyle Underwood, 21, who lives on the Maungaturoto farm where the calf was born.
And so that was how Richie was named after the All Blacks' captain.
Mr Underwood said he believed Richie was a good omen for a long-prophesied All Blacks victory this year.
"We call him our All Blacks supporter for the World Cup ... I'm pretty confident in the ABs, I think they're going to do a good job."
Richie the calf has already created a stir on Facebook after Mr Underwood uploaded a picture and suggested it could be used as a mascot - and perhaps even make an appearance at Eden Park.
"It got a big reaction. People were suggesting I put him on Trade Me to get some good money."
Mr Underwood and his family are committed All Blacks fans - something Richie should be thankful for.
"Because it's a bull ... he would go to the works. But I think he'll stick around for a while, considering he's pretty special."
But if the All Blacks crash out?
"He would have served his purpose by then."
Even McCaw isn't under that much pressure.