Maungaturoto has never had a celebrity like it - Richie McCow's fame has extended far beyond his Northland paddock after world media picked up the story of the "psychic" calf.

The Telegraph newspaper in Britain reported Richie was to "follow in the tentacles" of Paul the Octopus during this year's Rugby World Cup.

Richie also made headlines in India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Australia, France, Jamaica, and Taiwan. Newspapers ranging from the Borneo Post, the Whitsunday Times, and the Caribbean Herald reported the story.

Last week, the calf was hailed by his owners as an omen after being born all black except for a white mark on its forehead - which looks like a silver fern.

The Herald will put that apparently special nature to the test by presenting the calf with two containers of food prior to the All Blacks' matches.

One container will be marked with a New Zealand flag, the other with the flag of the All Blacks' opposition.

A German octopus called Paul gained worldwide fame during the 2010 Fifa World Cup by correctly calling the outcome of eight football matches.

Paul died in October of natural causes, but had received death threats from enraged fans of the teams it correctly predicted to lose.

Richie will be under even more pressure - his owner Kyle Underwood, 21, told the Herald he faced the freezing works if the All Blacks exited the Cup early.

While that threat was included in most international reports, the Daily India website chose to omit it - perhaps because of the sacred position of cattle in Hinduism.

Richie has been invited to be the star attraction of next month's Auckland Pet & Animal Expo, following in the paw prints of last year's drawcard, the winner of New Zealand's Next Top Cat Model. And Mr Underwood has fielded an offer of luxury bedding for Richie from 'Bonnie the Cow', suppliers of premium animal bedding to the dairy farming sector.

Mr Underwood has started a Support Richie McCow Facebook page to manage his calf's growing fame.